If you want to get the eye of the press, you've to believe just like the press.
In the 20+ years I've been in public relations, one of the very difficult aspects of the overall game to teach clients is that the press is not really a service organization whose sole purpose is to cover what PR people pitch them. Their business design is simple; they exist to share with and entertain their readers, so they can grow their subscriber base and sell advertising against those numbers.
So, if you want to be involved in the "press game" it is critical to acknowledge what wins the press loyal readers and increases their circulation...and then make them to do it! The 1st step is to get together a power-packed pitch. According to the Associated Press Stylebook 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 accomplish this once they choose what to write, print or air.
So, just because your company opened a brand new store in Cincinnati, doesn't allow it to be NEWS. However, there might well be a nugget of newsworthiness that you can offer around the press to be able to have them thinking about the opening of one's store.
Where do you will find those nuggets? Here are a few suggestions to help you mine the news gold in all your announcements:
Read Your Local Newspapers -You can't find a news hook until you know what the news of the afternoon actually is. And, because it changes each day, you will need to stay on the surface of the news (or hire an agency to perform that function for you, and trust their judgment once 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. Search for anything in your business that's highly relevant to news taking place in 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 been currently talking about the area.
Say you discover that the area is economically depressed, by which case you are able to pitch to the press the indisputable fact that a brand new retailer opening there is a boost to the neighborhood economy, and that you're prepared to take a chance on success because community. Or you could discover that bicycle ridership has increased nationally by 10 percent over the last year, with new riders indicating they have started as they are trying to get fit. You will pitch the neighborhood press on the angle that the new shop is directed at capitalizing on this national trend.
This strategy is called "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 have a local hook so they can be more highly relevant to the neighborhood audience.
Develop Stories That Have a Beginning, Middle and End - Ensure you tell reporters a full story. Let's use the bicycle shop being an example. Opening a bicycle shop might not be much of an account on its own, 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 master ever a competitive bicyclist? Have the owners used their knowledge of the sport or inventory to simply help any children's charities or causes? Are they active inside their community? Identify the story behind the story, and you'll have lots of opportunities to discover a news hook that's relevant.
Take Action - There's grounds 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 very important to every commercial enterprise to become a good citizen and use some of these resources to simply help others, and additionally, it helps to produce sometimes un-newsworthy events relevant. Opening a bicycle shop isn't a big deal, but holding a grand opening event for a local children's charity makes the opening more relevant. If the owners use the event to simply help raise money and donate excess inventory to needy children, it is both a suitable venture and a truly heartwarming feel-good story worth news coverage.
Helping people must be its own reward, obviously, but that's also why newspapers and charities love these events. It not merely gives editors and TV crews something joyful and pleased to report, but it also enables the charities to get their messages out to town 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 conclusion of the afternoon, all the time you'll find news hooks in even the most mundane of news releases. The main element thing to remember is that the focus of the release isn't to offer, sell, sell - it's to convince a reporter that you've news to report and that their readers will be informed or entertained by everything you have to tell them.