In public relations (and in general with senior living marketing and advertising), the importance of storytelling goes without saying. One component of PR is generating stories in the media and earning valuable publicity for a community or organization. So how do you find those stories to entice TV, newspapers, magazines, online media or trade pubs? Having worked on the other side of the mic as a TV news reporter for a decade, I’ve compiled six story motivators to entice reporters, writers or editors – angles to build around in a news release or media pitch:
- Community – how the area, country, industry or a way of life is changing
- Money – ways to save money or avoid waste
- Health – ways to live better or avoid illness/harm
- Safety – ways to be safer or avoid risk/danger
- Family – interesting or unique ways of life
- Innate curiosity – something so cool, unusual or unexpected that you want to see or hear about it … can be an event, person or activity
Timeliness is also a big factor. Maybe there’s a story idea that alone may not engage media, but does if coupled with a popular current event. Maybe it’s a sporting or pop culture event, historical anniversary, recent news event, or an opportunity for media to localize a hot national issue.
And while you’re obviously trying to promote your organization, don’t confuse that with the lead. The story is about what’s happening. Newsies don’t want to hear a company’s name and slogan 10 times before getting to what it’s actually doing and why it matters. Attach a story motivator up front, have a hook, organize key facts first and get to specifics later. A big part of PR is giving credibility to marketing messages. Advertising says it. PR’s job is to show it. With the right strategies in PR and media relations, you can make a community or organization shine.
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