Is your media release missing the mark?

A JOURNALIST TELLS WHAT IT TAKES TO GET YOUR STORY INTO THE NEWS CYCLE

The point of a media release is to encourage journalists, bloggers and other communicators with access to the public to pass on your key message/s. Journalists are busy people, but they are also people in need of content

Great, right? It is, but not so fast

Before they publish or broadcast your content they’ll want to know a few things first:

• Does this affect my readers/viewers?
• Will anyone care and why?
• Will this fill the space I have in my paper, news bulletin, or blog?
• Is this something I can follow up and maybe get another story out of?

So, here we go. Let’s take a look at what we’re up against…

Does this affect my readership?
If you know the subject of your media release has a local impact, relates to a certain demographic or solves a specific problem, use a hook to ensure the person receiving your media release knows that this is targeted to their audience. This means including exactly what your journo is looking for. A local angle, a current problem, anything that relates to their specific audience. Have a look through some recent copies of their paper, posts on their website or broadcasts of their program and see what matters to them. Make sure the reader knows right away what the subject is and who will be interested.

Will anyone care and why?
If there is an emotional angle people will care. They might get angry. They might get excited. They may become fearful, relieved or curious. But they have to feel something in order to care. If you successfully link the target audience with the content you will be able to make an educated guess on the emotional angle that will work best.

Will this fill the space I have in my paper, bulletin or blog?
If the target is right, the angle is correct, and you provide enough detail then the answer to this question will be yes. Don’t forget, detail isn’t just written copy. It can also include high-res images, video and other content.

Is this something I can follow up and maybe get another story out of?
If you add a call to action like an event, poll, survey, or anything the journo can follow up for results you will double your chance of the story getting a run. Why offer just one story when you can provide two?

This strategy can work for any form of communication you are required to create. So when you sit down and a white screen is staring back at you, just ask yourself: who am I writing to, what matters to them, am I being as informative and interesting as I can?

Good luck!

Nikki Taylor is a former Fairfax News Journalist and Senior Community Relations Advisor at Flagship Communications. For more content like this follow Flagship Communications on our LinkedIn page and Facebook. To speak with us directly call 1300 963 796

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