“The media” is an all-encompassing term, of course. There are stories that would interest business reporters, health reporters, technology reporters, etc. But there are certain general truths about a company’s efforts to gain attention in the media, and the guiding principle should always be: Why Should They Care?
We like to say in media training that everyone listens to the same radio station: WII-FM, or “What’s in it for me?” If your story doesn’t have some element of that, it’s not going to fly.
For example, say your CEO is the keynote speaker at the annual gala of the nonprofit he or she volunteers for. That’s really great, and everyone at your company – and in the charity – should hear about it. It should be on your website, in your e-newsletter, and maybe the speech should be recorded and promoted on a YouTube video. But unless your CEO is already famous, no one else cares very much.
The same goes for professional awards. The people who care are the ones giving the awards and the ones receiving it, and that’s about it. Yes, the Nobel Prize is noteworthy, but very few of us win that one.
Unfortunately, many people want to push this kind of “news” out to the general public through the news media. They insist on sending a news release – then don’t understand why their news is ignored. In this case, however, one news release being ignored might not be the worst that can happen. If you repeatedly send this kind of information out, everything coming from your email box may be trashed without being read because you have gotten a reputation of not knowing what news is.
How do you avoid the “non-news” trap? Read the news; listen to the news; watch the news. What types of stories do they cover? Have you noticed anyone in the media covering the type of story you want to send out?
It’s very difficult to tell people that the “news” they are so excited about isn’t really going to be covered by the media. Nobody likes to be that messenger.
But somebody has to do it.
Posted by Margot Dimond