If you want to get the eye of the press, you've to think like the press.
In the 20+ years I've been in public areas relations, one of the very most difficult elements of the game to instruct clients is that the press is not a service organization whose sole purpose is to cover what PR people pitch them. Their business design is simple; they exist to inform and entertain their readers, to allow them to grow their subscriber base and sell advertising against those numbers.
So, if you want to participate in the "press game" it is essential to identify what wins the press loyal readers and increases their circulation...and then make them to accomplish it! Step one is to have together a power-packed pitch. According to the Associated Press Stylebook the preferred term for a press release isn't press release; it's NEWS release. All things considered, it's not called a press-paper - it's called a NEWSpaper. Like it or not, public relations people don't get to determine what the news is. Only news professionals get to do that when they choose what to create, print or air.
So, just because your company opened a brand new store in Cincinnati, doesn't make it NEWS. However, there might very well be described as a nugget of newsworthiness as you are able to offer up to the press to be able to get them thinking about the opening of your store.
Where do you find those nuggets? Here really are a few suggestions to help you mine the news gold in your entire announcements:
Read Your Local Newspapers -You can't locate a news hook until do you know what the news of your day actually is. And, since it changes everyday, you will need to remain on the top of news (or hire an agency to execute that function for you personally, and trust their judgment when they advise you of potential news hooks).
Determine How Your Story is Relevant - Here is the lowest hanging fruit in the news hook orchard trend press news. Look for anything in your company that's highly relevant to news taking invest your community or nationally. If you're opening a brand new bicycle shop in Los Angeles, then do some news searches to see what reporters have already been currently talking about the area.
Say you learn that the location is economically depressed, in which case you are able to pitch to the press the proven fact that a brand new retailer opening there's a boost to the local economy, and that you're willing to have a chance on success because community. Or you might learn that bicycle ridership has increased nationally by 10 percent over the prior year, with new riders indicating they have started because they're trying to get fit. You can now pitch the local press on the angle your new shop is aimed at capitalizing on this national trend.
This strategy is recognized as "localizing" a national story, which every newspaper and TV producer loves. Because it's a national story, they will report it anyway, but they'd prefer to truly have a local hook to allow them to become more highly relevant to the local audience.
Develop Stories That Have a Beginning, Middle and End - Make sure you tell reporters a full story. Let's utilize the bicycle shop as an example. Opening a bicycle shop might not be a lot of a tale by itself, but what's the story behind the story? Did the owners overcome any unusual obstacles in fulfilling the dream of opening their store? Was the dog owner ever a competitive bicyclist? Have the owners used their knowledge of the game or inventory to help any children's charities or causes? Are they active in their community? Identify the story behind the story, and you'll have a lot of opportunities to find a news hook that's relevant.
Take Action - There's a reason why so many commercial enterprises and not-for-profit charities and community organizations partner up for special events - it's a win-win situation for everyone. It's essential for every commercial enterprise to become a good citizen and use some of the resources to help others, and additionally it helps to make sometimes un-newsworthy events relevant. Opening a bicycle shop isn't a big deal, but holding a great opening event for a local children's charity makes the opening more relevant. If the owners utilize the event to help raise money and donate excess inventory to needy children, it's both a worthy venture and a really heartwarming feel-good story worth news coverage.
Helping people must be its reward, needless to say, but that's also why newspapers and charities love these events. It not just gives editors and TV crews something joyful and pleased to report, but it addittionally enables the charities to have their messages out to the city at large. Your organization improves its public image, and deservedly so, so long as the help is genuine and comes not from the pocketbook, but from the heart.
At the end of your day, a lot of the time you'll find news hooks in even probably the most mundane of news releases. The main element thing to consider is that the focus of the release isn't to sell, sell, sell - it's to convince a reporter that you've news to report and that their readers would be informed or entertained by that which you have to inform them.