With journalists bombarded with hundreds of pitches and media releases each day, your ability to generate media coverage is directly determined by how newsworthy and interesting you can make yourself, your business or your topic.
But with so many different media outlets with differing opinions on what is newsworthy to them, how do you choose the right angle to make sure you don’t end up deleted?
Here are some tips to help you find the best newsworthy angle for your business and some steal worthy news angles to get you started.
1. Know why you want media coverage
The first step in making your business newsworthy is to determine why you want to generate media coverage in the first place. Is it to build brand awareness and get people talking about your products or services? Is it to raise awareness for a cause or issue? Is it to gain credibility and be able to say that you or your business have been "featured in..." or perhaps it's to be the go-to source on your area of expertise?
Why you want to generate coverage will not only impact what media outlets and journalists you target but also the angle you use to make it more newsworthy to each of them.
For example if you want to be an ongoing source you wouldn't send off a media release about how great your product, service or business is. You would be leading with statistics, figures, trends, industry insights and other valuable information that will prove your worth and credibility.
2. Determine who your target market is
Like any form of promotion you need to know who you are targeting and why. While the journalist will be the first point of contact, they won't necessarily be the primary market you want to target, unless your goal is to become their expert source.
So think about it, is it that you want to reach new potential customers and persuade them to buy your product or service? Do you to attract more wholesalers to stock your products or high quality staff, licensees, franchisees and investors into your business?
When you know who you are targeting you will easily identify the best media channels to use to get your message across and the right angle to 'hook' both the journalist and your target market.
3. Know the media you are targeting
Once you have a list of the media outlets that attract your target market, get to know each one. What stories and topics do they cover? What do they find newsworthy? How do they put stories together? Are they factually based or more sensational? Have they covered anything recently that you could give more detail on or an alternate opinion? How much information do they require? How long is each story or segment? What segment, section or journalist will find what you have to share the most relevant?
Keep in mind too that there will often be multiple opportunities within the one media outlet that will also require a different approach or angle. Take a magazine for example, which has editorials and features, personal or business profiles, real life stories, product features, reviews and competitions, opinion pieces and letters to the editor.
Each of these segments can offer you media coverage though which one you choose will depend on your purpose. If you want to establish yourself as an expert you may want to go for a profile or editorial article. However, if you want to launch or promote a product you may opt for a product feature, review or competition.
4. Find your angle
When you know why you want coverage, who you are targeting and what media you need to use to reach them, suddenly finding your angle, hook or "in" is a lot easier.
Keep in mind that the media want to appeal to their audience just as much as you do in order to boost their own ratings, hits or sales, so think about what information you can provide that will help them achieve their goals so you can, in turn achieve yours. Always take a win/win/win approach when it comes to targeting the media.
To help you start thinking about angles you can adapt to attract media coverage in your own business, here are some examples categorised by three types of coverage you might be looking for.
- A personal or business profile - Include stories of rags to riches, David versus Goliath, overcoming adversity, something or someone lost than found, successes (like winning an accolade, achieving something that is thought to be difficult or "impossible", making a discovery, achieving a milestone or attaining a big goal), business growth (franchising, licensing, winning a large contract, expanding nationally or internationally) or even key lessons you've learnt (what to do or not to do) in any of the above (or other) scenarios
- Becoming a source - Provide valuable information people need to know but aren't told or have no way of knowing like key industry insights, research findings, breaking news, whistle-blower confessions, examples of real world consequences when it comes to new regulations or legislation (or a layman’s guide to understanding it), upcoming trends, public announcements, scams or lawsuits
- Product feature - New products, themed products (summer/winter essentials, must-have tools for business owners, products every new mum needs etc.), gift ideas, decorations or recipes for celebrations and events (like Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Birthdays or Christmas) or products that are endorsed, used or spotted on a celebrity
A good news angle will be relevant to your the audience, interesting to the media and add value to everyone. Remember that the objective is not to push information out but to draw people to you, a concept that can take more thoughtful planning, but will generate more results and sales.