Generating positive public relations is all about THE STORY. What is your story and why are you unique in the industry or amongst your competition.
When I sit down to learn about a new business I often listen as a journalist for key things: 1. What is your direct competition in the market like? How unique are you? 2. What made you decide to go into this industry? Is there a personal story here?
3. Why did you develop this product of service? What problems will it solve for customers? 4. Do you plan on growing your business by looking at other products and services or expanding what you have to create something new?
5. What is the impact on the industry or market? Today's media want to cover the hottest new trends. They're looking for something no one else has covered or a lead for a future story. Period.
Journalist and media outlet goals are to create curiosity, clicks and engagement that turn into ad revenue.
To Discover Your Story, Ask the Whys, Whats & Hows
A great story always answers the Whys, Whats and Hows:
Why did you create this product/service? What problem does it solve?
Why is it unique? What makes it different?
Why should people care? How will it make their life better?
How will it impact the industry/market? What statistics or facts are their to back your product/service coming to market?
Why is it setting a trend in the industry/market? What is innovative about it that will set the industry on a new trajectory?
and so on.
Being thorough about the Whys, Whats & Hows will help you think through the power of your story, why you're telling it and, more importantly, why you want media to share it. Remember, the answers to these questions shouldn't all be benefits and features. You have to think beyond the product or service to clearly communicate "your why?".
Follow the Media
It's important that you follow, and subscribe to the media you want to be seen in - local, regional, national and industry - and the writers you'd like to produce a story on your business. Showing that you support journalism means that you care about their jobs and respect the exposure that their outlet can give to your business.
Reading and following the news can be helpful in teaching you how to think about your company story and translate it into a story that is newsworthy and compelling and keep you from trying to pitch a story that has already been done, getting you no where with your efforts.
Also, following national trends and jumping on opportunities can be extremely beneficial. If your product, service or expertise can provide a new voice to an ongoing current trend that is top of mind with journalists, they will welcome fresh insight, takes, products or services that offer a remedy.
It's all about being aware of what's happening and seeing how your business is applicable. When trends are hot, journalists are looking for all kinds of tips and experts. For the DIYers it can be as simple as writing a related pitch to the writer connecting the trend to your business. If anything they'll keep your information on file as a potential reference for a future story. That's the kind of expert positioning that builds real credibility! How would you answer the questions above? It could determine whether your PR program is successful or not.
Think like a journalist, interview yourself and dig through what's specifically interesting about you and your business.
Journalists don't want the same information and story they've already written.
They want something new and of current interest.
And the last thing they want is a generic company press release that fails to relate the information to a real story; a "why".
Believe me, everyone has a unique story to tell and it's always interesting. You just have to think like a journalist to find it!