Get your story in the news

By Helen Shea, Shout Marketing

What is it about journalists that make them seem so elusive?  The truth is they’re not.  You just have to know how to approach them if you want to get your story published in traditional media, and to have confidence the correct facts will be printed.  Get this right and you’ll be on track to reaping the rewards of having a journalist telling your story for you.  A well executed traditional media plan can gain fantastic results, and while advertising has its place, it’s often said editorial in a publication holds more weight.

It must be news

The first step is to identify an interesting or innovative story and decide whether it is newsworthy – is it something people would be interested in. Make sure you think outside the square, often it’s the way you pitch a story that makes the difference.

E.g. One of our clients, Fern Ridge exports apples to a cricket-mad India.  This in itself is not a major news story, but their marketing campaign using photos of iconic former Black Caps on the apple stickers is. To get the story told, we organised for the former Black Caps concerned to meet the media in Hawke’s Bay to discuss the concept and it dominated the front page of Hawke’s Bay Today’s Heartland.

Hand your story to them on a plate

Once you know you have a good story you need to develop a well written and constructed media release, which includes all the relevant information and will attract the attention of the journalists you send it to.  It also helps ensure the journalist publishes accurate information.

Send it to the right people

The final step is to develop a list of targeted media you wish to send your release to. This will be dependent on what your story is about and the audience you are trying to communicate with.

While you can do all this yourself it is worth considering employing a PR professional who knows how to pitch a story and get it published. They will be able to speak with you and develop the story angles and media release. They will also have their own up-to-date list of media contacts and can advise you on the best ones to send your release to.

One of Shout’s jobs is to get stories in the media.  Feel free to get in touch with us to discuss how we might be able to do this for your business.