Journalists receive hundreds of emails a day from charities just like yours, wanting them to run their story, so you need to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.
Here’s our top tips:
Know your publications.
Get into the habit of reading/listening to the media outlets that you want to run your story so you can see what kind of angle interests them, who their audience is and the style in which they like to write/talk. It also means that you can spot any trends that you may be able to shape your story around.
Make it compelling.
You want to make sure that the story is not only relevant to the audience but also interesting which is why it’s always important to ask leading questions when gathering information to write your story. Look past the obvious angle and see if you can find something incredible which has lots of layers to it or an emotional side. You could even tell the story to friends and family members to see if they find it interesting, and if it’s a yes, then it’s more than likely a journalist will as well. Also, look at what else is happening in the world that you could tie the story into. Is there a special day like Mother’s Day coming up which you could hook your story around.
In addition to a compelling story you also need great images to go along side it. The more striking the better and it’s always good to be able to offer a journalist a few different variations. Having a great image will also ensure a bigger spread (if print media) which is never a bad thing!
Do your research.
As well as making sure you are targeting the right media outlet you also want to be speaking to the right journalist. For example, if you have a news story, you don’t want to be speaking to the features desk. Think about which section of a media outlet the story is best placed within sending it out.
Think about timings.
If you want your story to run in a long lead media outlet (for example a monthly magazine) you need to be selling the story in at least a few months in advance as these publications tend to work 6-12 weeks in the lead and standing broadcast slots tend to fill up pretty quickly too. But daily outlets give you a lot more flexibility. The key here is being prepared. Creating a little timetable in advance so you know where to send it and when is a great help to make sure you don’t miss any opportunities.
Sarah Wallace is the Director for BluebirdPR. She offers a hands-on, down to earth approach to PR for small and medium charities and is passionate about working with causes that inspire her. Connect on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter.
To find out more visit www.bluebirdpr.co.uk