Thursday, May 15, 2008

So, You Think You Have A Story Idea?

Great! That means you are starting to think like a PR pro! The first thing you have to do with your story idea is think about who it would be of interest to. And, please - ask a trusted colleague or two who would be interested in knowing about your story idea. (hint: Do not ask people who always tell you what you want to hear - they are good friends, but not good business consultants)

Next, once you have an idea about what audience is going to be interested in your story idea, think about how those audiences get information. And don't only think about media like daily newspapers and TV. What music do they listen to and will they get that from a radio station or satellite? What niche magazines might they read? What types of newsletters do they subscribe to? Where do they live and what local media outlets reach them? What organizations do they belong to and communicate with? What websites do they frequent? What important people do they take stock in?

Lots of questions to answer before you run off to share your story idea. Answer these questions and then research ways to reach the "gatekeepers" (as we called them in PR 101) who are the ones who communicate directly with your audiences.

STOP! Before you actually reach out (phone call, press release, pitch letter or email, press packet, e-blast, article, tips, etc.) you must do more research!!! The best way to get your story out there is to supply all of the background information that might be needed to help further develop your story idea. Find websites that coincide with thoughts you are expressing, find examples you are referring to, provide photos, offer collation between your story and current news and event items, offer background research and the homework and never think "it's not my job" - ever.

Managing successful public relations is no different writing an A-worthy research paper!


lisa said...

Great advice! If you are on a tight budget and looking for a great media contact directory to pitch your stories to, check out -- media lists cost as little as $7.99.

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