In this information-rich world, we are constantly bombarded by news stories, articles, videos and blogs. Whether you have breaking news, a story opportunity, or want to profile a key figure in your organisation, it’s critical to get your message right.
Connect with your audience: relevance; timeliness; newsworthiness
Understanding your target audience is important for engagement and aligning with the media’s objectives. To see your story published, and for it to resonate with your audience, your message needs to be relevant, timely, and newsworthy.
Relevance requires that you understand your audience and their interests, provide information that is valuable, and tailor content so it is topical and appropriate for the publication in question. Ensuring there is a point to your story will help audiences connect the importance of your message to their own business.
Timeliness is crucial, as an ill-timed announcement may miss the mark, depending on what other stories are developing. Take the recent bushfires for example. Imagine you want to announce the opening of a brand-new office in a southern NSW town and, while your office is fine, other streets have just been decimated by fire. You may have had the announcement scheduled for months; however, going ahead with it and highlighting your company’s success in light of others’ devastation would be poor taste. In these circumstances, it is OK to file the announcement for a later date.
Having a message that is newsworthy is also important. You want your story to be interesting. Staying on top of the news and headlines, including industry and trade news, will ensure you’re aware of other stories of interest that may affect or influence your business. You can use this research to tailor your news so that it is rich, accurate, and engaging for your audience.
Working with a PR specialist can help you engage with journalists across various media channels to get an idea for what they might be working on at the time, and build a pipeline for the next few weeks or months ahead. This lets you strategise and plan according to what is most relevant, topical or trending, and publish your stories in a timely manner.
Find new and different angles
What you say and how you say it can be the difference between having your content published or having a journalist decide your content is just the same as everyone else’s. It is important to identify your key message and any gaps that need to be addressed, do some research, ask questions, and back it up with statistics and data. For example, by sharing key insights that only your business has discovered, you portray yourself as a specialist in the industry, a reliable source of information and go-to for authoritative commentary.
Back to basics
A complex topic can be simplified and easier to understand when your message is clear and simple. Stick to the basics: who; what; when; where; why; how; and how much. Remove any unnecessary details or wording. Finding the right balance in your tone and message is essential for achieving cut-through, being heard in a busy world, and targeting the desired audience.
Whether you’re working on a blog, case study, or media release, make sure the content is relevant.
- A blog offers insight and thought leadership on a topic.
- A case study is a descriptive and exploratory analysis of a project, person, group, or event.
- A media release is an announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications to let the public know of company developments.
If your story is an ongoing topic, make sure you stay on top of the developments and update the content with the latest data, and revise any supporting comments as necessary. It’s also critical to have a spokesperson available to address questions at any time.
Your messaging and approach needs to be bold, engaging and relevant, so make sure that you’re armed with all the important information, supporting data and images, and be ready to respond in a timely manner.