Good PR Basics: Part II
Welcome to part 2 of this 3 part series on Good PR basics. Using PR is my favorite way to get good news out into the community and I want to help other people who are creating good (you!) to do the same. In part 1 of this series we covered why good PR is my favorite way to spread good news and the benefits of using this tactic to share your message (click here to catch up on that). In part 2 of this series I want to cover how to create your good news story so you actually have something to reach out to the press with. Being able to share your story helps you stand out from the crowd. A good story makes you unique. Media groups love to find a good story. If you want coverage, it’s your job to help these organizations see your story. They’re not going to hunt you down, you need to go to them. Stories are important because they help us connect, which gives us value.
I recommend getting your story together before you contact the media for two reasons. First, you have a better chance at getting coverage. Second, guiding them to your story gives you more influence over the final story the media shares.
Here’s a few things to focus on when you’re getting your story together to share with media groups and outside organizations.
First things first, remember: people connect to people. We’re emotionally driven beings. What makes your story personable? Focus your story on what your work looks like on a personal level. Why do you create great work. What inspired you? Who is benefitting from the great work you’re doing? People love to hear about the personal stories that inspire you to do what you do. It gives us something to connect with.
Second, your story needs a hook. What is going to grab people’s attention? Give it to me in a sentence or two. This is like the headline for your story. Don’t know what your hook should be because there’s too many great things going on and how could you possibly choose which part is your favorite? Here’s a hint: it’s probably pretty easy but you’re too wrapped up in the details. Tell your good news to a couple of friends who are outside of your industry (or your mom or your neighbor or whoever will listen to you) and see what part of the story grabs their attention. That’s your hook.
Short, Focused Message
Third, keep your message focused and on topic. Stay on target and true to your story. You can do this by answering a few quick questions.
Who are the people?
What is the event?
What’s the history of this story?
Is there a process you could share?
Why is this important?
What do you want readers to do with this knowledge? Is it purely informational or do you want them to feel a certain emotion? Or is there a call to action where you want them to actually do something? This is important, remember to include it.
Fourth, give us something to look at. I hear over and over again that the trend in marketing and PR is heading towards more visual storytelling, so make sure you have some visuals components to support your story telling. If you’re filming somewhere give people something to look at. No one just wants to watch you talk on camera (no matter how cute you are). If you have a photographer coming out, bring items and people they can photograph. Even if you’re doing radio, make sure you have supporting images to put on social media. Make sure you, and whoever else might be on camera, are happy with the the way you look so you won’t be hesitant to get on camera. As a note, I’ve heard that papers tend to give the front page to things with the best photo opportunity. I know locally, if we see a certain reporter with her huge camera, she’s probably covering front page news. Take advantage of that.
Okay do-gooders, I hope those story tips help you get your stories together. Now that you’re all prepared, in next week’s post I’m going to share how to actually reach out the media to share your good work (it’s easier than you think).
In the meantime, if you’re looking for story inspiration, here’s a few ideas to get you started:
Stories about the people who work there
Something unique about your workplace
Something unique you’re offering
Triumphing against the odds
Something that affects a lot of people