Five tips for reaching the media with your story
The 2015 Edelman Media Forecast highlights Storytelling in the Age of Social Consumption. But what does this mean to the average nonprofit, government agency, association or small business looking to get their story heard?
I’ve drilled it down to the following five tips. Journalists and other thought leaders are looking for stories to share and invest in. Let these tips help that story be yours.
Videos / Images:
Journalists are looking for elements that make their stories shareable, as social media becomes part of their plan instead of an afterthought. On top of that 3 out of 4 journalists prefer to create their own video content. For your story to be picked up be sure you have images ready and are willing to work with them to co-create videos. This means you should have some creative, easy and quick ideas for video content.
Stay up to date on what topics are trending in the news and figure out ways you can weave your story into those topics. Because of the drought in California, this has been an ideal time for water districts and others to tell their stories of the need for investments in water infrastructure.
With the State of the Union last night, look at what the president focused on and look for ways this ties to your organization or brand. You can do this on smaller scales too, with State of the State addresses and State of the City addresses too.
Beyond ABC and NBC:
Non-legacy media publishers like Huffington Post, Mashable and Buzzfeed are some of the most engaged sites on Facebook. When you have a story to promote, think about how it would appeal to these outlets as well as the traditional media outlets. In the same way you build relationships with beat writers with local newspapers; build relationships with the writers on these channels that cover topics that would be relevant to your organization.
Email vs. Phone:
This is a quick and easy one. 64 percent of journalists think it is more appropriate for you to follow up on a story pitch via email instead of phone. Honor this preference and you’ll find a much friendlier journalist who will be willing to work with you in the future, even if they don’t pick up your story this time.
Turn around time for journalists is already short and they expect that trend to continue into 2015. If you don’t have someone available to speak to them, or your images ready to go in their timeframe - you could miss out on a great opportunity. Be accessible!