Making Headlines or Falling Flat?

images-1As professionals, company leadership and entrepreneurs, we care deeply about the work of our organizations. We're personally invested in it, after all. But with our strong emotional connections to the work we do, sometimes we overestimate the newsworthiness of particular accomplishments. To paint a picture of what I'm trying to explain, here’s a scenario we recently worked through with a client of our firm, Full Tilt Consulting.

A few weeks ago, we were sent a request for a press release announcing that the company had moved its office three floors down in the same building … “and tie it into news about the state of local business.” While we applauded the business growth, demonstrated by an increase in need for square footage, we can’t really make news if it isn’t there.

That got us thinking. How can we help others recognize the newsworthiness of their company's accomplishments? Here are three points for deciding if your news is actually newsworthy:

1. Have you read this story or one like it? The media is fairly predictable, but even clients with a story like what the media covers doesn’t guarantee column inches. If you want to know what makes news, read the newspaper (yes, online versions too) or watch the local and national broadcasts.

2. Are you telling a new story? Aren’t we all pulled in a million directions every day? If we sit down to read, we want to learn something, or at least find something interesting at the other end. That’s how your company’s story will resonate. Tie it in with a trend, a business movement, a marketplace shift. Present a good idea or different perspective. That will get you ink.

3. Can you share an example? More and more, the news industry is a business and it’s focused on selling ad space and air time. Sad, but true. Unless you’re a Kardashian, the story needs to have substance that is relatable to a large audience. For thought-leading organizations wanting to share their product or service via the news, it doesn’t hurt to have a defining element or interesting hook. Frame your expertise or idea with a specific and interesting illustration or case study.

In what ways can you play out your organization's story, in the media? Have you found success with a particular angle or trend within your industry?

Lisa Tilt is Founder and President of Full Tilt Consulting (www.FullTiltConsulting.com), a national brand development and strategy firm. Contact her at lisa(at)fulltiltconsulting(dot)com.

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