Selling Your Story


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Presentation I made for the Greenville, SC Chamber of Commerce Summer 2009.

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  • Newsworthy
  • What makes your story news worthy.. What will get the anchors talking about it on TV
  • What will get me posting about it on my social networks, or blogging, or live streaming
  • I’ve got close to 6 thousand folks keeping an eye on my updates This is twitter
  • And here’s myspace
  • You think the only thing we’ll cover is something that explodes
  • But that really isn’t true, it’s all about figuring out where your story fits in our news puzzle each day
  • The burden is on you.. To do detective work.. On the paper, or news station… To show us where the story fits, and why our viewers will care
  • Websites are great resources for understanding how a station or newspaper brands its news elements. Where does your story fit as you browse the website, watch the station or read the paper
  • These kind of categories can really help to give you places to target your story
  • Economy stories are HUGE
  • Even the Michelin Man studies the news…
  • Remember the economic times are hitting ALL companies with layoffs … that means fewer journalists on the streest covering your story
  • This is how our reporters feel – story pitches, events to cover, voice mail, email, post stories to the web, make beat calls, breaking news, web updates, social media, live tv, interviews, driving to locations
  • It’s not just the reporter you have to convince.. It’s a whole list of people who have to buy into the news value of your story
  • Jonathan Carlson
  • Here’s what you need to remember be patiently persistent
  • Share your passion for the story
  • Provide perspective – studies supplemntal materials, reports Remember we don’t know your business and the story as well as you do.. Put it in context.. We may not realize you’re the only company in SC doing something important unless you tell us.If there are studies that back up your claim from credible sources share them.If you are part of a new industry trend, provide us with some background on it
  • And use your connections, whether it’s getting that person on your board who is my neighbor to contact me .. Or going high tech
  • Make out of the box connections. Take advantage of the social media tools that can help you build relationships.
  • Geno Church and I in contact over the last year -
  • Not makingthos social media connections will leave you ineffective in this fast moving age
  • Break some rules.. – Verizon mints
  • Think you’re too old school for this.. Social media stuff .. Your’e from the gumby era… or the Mickey Mouse Club kid?
  • Even Gumby has a facebook page 115 thousand members on this oneMost tips tell you toSend out press releaseSend it to all mediaHelp reporters understand why they want to cover your event, why its importantDo all of that.. But do more.Do your homeworkLook into the TV stations, read the papers.Websites can give you huge clues about where you might get the best play for your storyIs there a station with a brand that fits your story more than the others.Those websites can show you the types of stories the station does… if your story fits into one of the categories.. Pitch it that way.. Sell it that wayDon’t think about your group your product, your company, think about the people who will read watch or listen to your story.Why is this important to them…. Get specific.You may be involved with a fundraiser for schools.But balloons and a festival aren’t going to bring out the TV crews.IF that money is going to help stop school violence and there was a recent fightIf the money is going to a new drivers ed program and you’ve had a lot of teen accidentsThat event begins to have more value… you can convince a newsroom to preview your event with a story on the problem.. That will be more helpful to your eventLook for other opportunities.. We might not cover the fundraiser, due to limited resources But we have another show on our air.. Your carolina.. A morning tv talk show..where groups have a better chance of getting invited on the show.Companies can also pay for time to be on that program.. It is not a news program.. It’s a local talk show with pay to play featuresLook for those unusual venues.. Where you can gain more exposure.So do you wait until 2 weeks before the event to get out a megaphone and start telling l the world about your group and event?No in the age of social media… you should be out there now… and forming relationships with members of the media on twitter, facebook and other places.Relationships, commenting on stories that are relevant to your expertise, your companies products etc… put you on a reporter or anchors radar map.. As someone in the know… when something comes up, or when later you have a issie that needs to be covered.Limited resources in this economyOur station cutting back, we’ve had layoffs, others are not filing positions.. The bottom line.. Fewer reporters and photographers to tell the stories these days… and it seems like more spot news than ever, with crime and economy stories through the roof.You are competing for time.. On the air… Ave story a minute and a half 2 minutes longThis is the list of people who have to approve it.So what can you do to jump off the page of a list of 30 or 40 ideas and events for the day?People – don’t line up your pr person.. Line up a real person who’s used your product or service, who’s benefiitng from the fundraiser your companies sponsored.Perspective – put it in perspective have some detail ready about how many people just like that person are in the same boat, need the same help, etc.Preparation do the legwork – don’t just have a name in the back of your mind… have all the numbers to readch that person handy, have an expert on the subject from a local univeristy, from the chamber, ready to help provide some of that perspective. Reporter have less time than ever.. The easier you make it for them to tell a great story the better.Here’s one of our reporters jonathancarlson.Verizon mintsUser your connections No… your megaphone Gumby on facebook.. Has 115 thousand fans
  • Blogposts with pushes from TV can get some decent traffic
  • Or on the Web
  • Don’t forget the web – interviews with Anchors - Business Success stories – Issues – Solutions to problems people are facing – we can do a Talk Back interview about them.
  • Maybe you have an expert that can be part of a live blog that I host.. Where I need experts online taking questions
  • Don’t forget the news can derail your story.. LiterallyKnock it right off the tracks… understand that.. And regroup and come back at us again
  • It’s all about getting on the air
  • Selling Your Story

    1. 1. News Worthy<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Where does your story fit?<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10.
    11. 11.
    12. 12.
    13. 13. Pay attention <br />to the stories <br />making the news <br />When national real estate is down but you’re doing fine <br />When fire deaths are up, and you sell a product that saves lives<br />When domestic violence kills and your company is in the middle of a project to help stop it<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Layers of news management <br />Who must approve stories<br /> news director<br /> assignment editor<br /> managing editor<br /> web producer<br /> show producer<br /> anchors <br /> reporter<br />
    17. 17. Interview with Reporter Jonathan Carlson<br />
    18. 18. Do the legwork<br />
    19. 19.
    20. 20.
    21. 21. Assignment Manager - Russ Bradley<br />
    22. 22.
    23. 23.
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Patient persistence<br />
    26. 26. Share the passion and excitement<br />
    27. 27. Keep it simple<br />
    28. 28. Perspective <br />
    29. 29. Connections<br />
    30. 30.
    31. 31. Hey, any interest if we get the RAGE kids to Tweet live from the capital on Kick Butts Day as they talk to their legislatures?<br />