“What’s better than telling stories for a living?”
That’s a quote from our Integrated Media Consultant Ed Garsten. Ed knows a thing or two about storytelling. From news reporting and launching CNN’s second network, to corporate journalism at Fiat Chrysler Automotive and agency work here at Franco, Ed has a lot to show for his esteemed 45-year multimedia career.
Ed recently shared some of his media relations wisdom with the team, naming a few best practices to consider when selling your story.
Focus on unique aspects of the story
According to Ed, when pitching a story, it is important to consider what media professionals really want. Unfortunately, not all stories involve exclusive, engaging content to keep readers on the edge of their seats. To deal with this, find the most appealing part of the story and bring it out. For a story that really seems to lack luster, think about the bigger picture and connect it in a relevant way to the target audience that still gets the point across.
Think of all the angles
Ask questions to unlock more information (e.g., is the new VP an amazing piano player or secret hardcore marathon runner?). The the more questions you ask the more likely you’ll get to the root of something cool, which increases the potential coverage for the client. Remember: as public relations professionals, we are here to make clients look good, so be thorough in the brainstorming process. You might just come across something great.
Once the information is gathered, try incorporating a more personal aspect of the story. In Ed’s experience, this sometimes means involving a ‘man on the street’ rather than someone in a C-level suite. After all, people like hearing from real people, not a company representative or talking head.
Provide video/picture assets
Make the job of a media professional easier by incorporating what they want. Throw unique content into the pitch, along with some multimedia elements. Dynamic pictures and videos are eye-catching and enhance a good story. By utilizing this material for a pitch, you increase your chances of getting the story picked up.
Create a catchy subject pitch line
The story is written, the multimedia elements are in place, so what’s next? Pitch it (aka ‘sell it’). Determine the perfect person to pick up the story and grab their attention with a catchy email subject line. Make sure it’s something unique that would make any media professional want to read more.
No two stories are exactly the same; take it from someone who tells stories for a living.
Looking for more storytelling strategies? Contact us today about our media relations services.