Media Success You Can Bank On
by Bob Crawshaw


Continuing PR Challenge
Getting people interested in what you are doing can prove challenging, even for the most PR-savvy company. A quick and effective way to reach your community or clients is through the media. Often people struggle to attract media attention because they fail to do their homework before they dial the newsroom.

One way to increase your chances of media attention is to use a "story bank." This simple tool can save you time, get you on the front foot with media inquiries and take the anguish out of pitching a message to journalists and editors.

Banking Your Stories
Think of a story bank as being like a bank account where you deposit and store valuable business information that can bring your message alive.

A deposit into the story bank can be newsworthy and compelling information like:

  • A story of someone using your product or service in interesting or unusual ways.
  • An individual who gives a human face to what you want to say.
  • Evidence such as international, national or local statistics.
  • A testimonial or quote from an expert, celebrity or other authority figure.
  • A summary of a report that shows future trends.
  • Details of someone who can talk about an issue.

You make a withdrawal by packaging up this information and providing it to a journalist so they can quickly see the value of your offer.

Approaching the Media
Using a story bank makes talking to the media a simple three-step process.

  • You assemble information in your story bank and summarize each story into two or three paragraphs.
  • You call a suitable media outlet and present an outline of a story.
  • And if they like your idea, you email supporting material within a matter of minutes. 

Starting Your Account?
You probably already have stories and snippets of information that would interest the media. Perhaps you have not documented them because until now you lacked a system for storing them.

Start collecting all that material together into your story bank. Then keep an eye out for new material so you can watch your story bank grow. Just as adding money regularly to your bank account increases your financial confidence, regularly adding material to your story bank increases your confidence to put a together a winning package for a media prospect.

What should a story bank look like? A simple table layout in Word document format is a good way to begin to organize information so you can record and retrieve it easily.

Cutting Costs and Saving Time
A story bank can make your dealings with the media much more productive and, because it shows that you are well organized, it can boost your credibility with journalists.

If you need to hire a PR consultant, a story bank helps to keep costs down. It saves time briefing the consultant and, if you can hand over a full story bank, much of the preliminary groundwork for your next media campaign is already done.

Bob Crawshaw of Maine Street Marketing at www.mainestreet.com.au specializes in reaching your clients and your community. Contact Maine Street Marketing at info@mainestreet.com.au for a free consultation on how to set up your story bank.

 

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