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Getting Your Stories in The Press

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Learn what makes a good business story and how to get it in the press with Yellow Bird Marketing and Communications’ guide to structuring and publishing your press release. Examples and templates included.

This guide is designed to help you:

- learn the key components of a good story;
- identify the stories within your business that appeal to others;
- select relevant publications and identify their areas of interest;
- create your media contacts list;
- structure your press release for publishing; and
- amplify your coverage.

Published in: Business
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Getting Your Stories in The Press

  1. 1. GETTING YOUR STORIES IN THE PRESS Yellow Bird Marketing and Communications
  2. 2. WHAT THIS PRESENTATION COVERS…
  3. 3. WHAT THIS PRESENTATION COVERS…
  4. 4. 1. What are the key components of a good story? 2. Examples of compelling stories 3. Understanding your target audience 4. Researching relevant media 5. Building your media list 6. Approaching the editor 7. Structuring your press release 8. Amplifying your coverage
  5. 5. 1. What are the key components of a good story? 2. Examples of compelling stories * 3. Understanding your target audience 4. Researching relevant media * 5. Building your media list * 6. Approaching the editor 7. Structuring your press release * 8. Amplifying your coverage *Examples and templates included
  6. 6. 1. WHAT ARE THE KEY COMPONENTS OF A GOOD STORY?
  7. 7. A GOOD STORY IS…
  8. 8. A GOOD STORY IS… TRUTH
  9. 9. TIMELY – SOMETHING THAT’S JUST HAPPENED/ ABOUT TO HAPPEN
  10. 10. TIMELY – SOMETHING THAT’S JUST HAPPENED/ ABOUT TO HAPPEN RELEVANT – THAT YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FIND INTERESTING
  11. 11. TIMELY – SOMETHING THAT’S JUST HAPPENED/ ABOUT TO HAPPEN RELEVANT – THAT YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FIND INTERESTING UNIQUE/UNUSUAL – STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD
  12. 12. TIMELY – SOMETHING THAT’S JUST HAPPENED/ ABOUT TO HAPPEN RELEVANT – THAT YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FIND INTERESTING UNIQUE/UNUSUAL – STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD TROUBLE – SHOWS HOW A PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE WAS OVERCOME
  13. 13. TIMELY – SOMETHING THAT’S JUST HAPPENED/ ABOUT TO HAPPEN RELEVANT – THAT YOUR AUDIENCE WILL FIND INTERESTING UNIQUE/UNUSUAL – STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD TROUBLE – SHOWS HOW A PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE WAS OVERCOME HUMAN – IS REAL AND RELATABLE
  14. 14. 2. EXAMPLES OF COMPELLING STORIES
  15. 15. INNOVATION NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH COMMUNITY DONATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES GIVING UP STAFF TIME FOR A GOOD CAUSE EVENTS ANNIVERSARIES AND MILESTONES
  16. 16. INNOVATION NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH COMMUNITY DONATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES GIVING UP STAFF TIME FOR A GOOD CAUSE EVENTS ANNIVERSARIES AND MILESTONES INSPIRATION HERO EFFORTS OLD/ YOUNG/ INTERGENERATIONAL AWARD OR FUNDING WINS FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNS JOB CREATION LARGE CONTRACT WINS
  17. 17. 3. UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
  18. 18. WHO’S YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE? ASK YOURSELF:
  19. 19. WHO’S YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE? WHY WOULD THEY BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY? ASK YOURSELF:
  20. 20. WHO’S YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE? WHY WOULD THEY BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY? WHAT PUBLICATIONS MIGHT THEY READ? ASK YOURSELF:
  21. 21. 4. RESEARCHING RELEVANT MEDIA
  22. 22. MEDIA OUTLETS - EXAMPLES
  23. 23. MEDIA OUTLETS - EXAMPLES LOCAL NEWSPAPERS
  24. 24. MEDIA OUTLETS - EXAMPLES LOCAL NEWSPAPERS LOCAL & NATIONAL MAGAZINES, NEWSLETTERS & SECTOR PRESS
  25. 25. MEDIA OUTLETS - EXAMPLES LOCAL NEWSPAPERS LOCAL & NATIONAL MAGAZINES, NEWSLETTERS & SECTOR PRESS TV AND RADIO
  26. 26. Jot down all the publications you think might be interested in your story 10-MINUTE EXERCISE
  27. 27. Jot down all the publications you think might be interested in your story 10-MINUTE EXERCISE LOCAL REGIONAL NATIONAL SECTOR PRESS
  28. 28. UNDERSTANDING THEIR WHY
  29. 29. LOOKING AT YOUR LIST, WHY WOULD EACH OF THESE PUBLICATIONS BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY?
  30. 30. LOOKING AT YOUR LIST, WHY WOULD EACH OF THESE PUBLICATIONS BE INTERESTED IN YOUR STORY? THINK ABOUT THEIR INTEREST IN: - your local area - your industry - your customer base - your ‘cause’ - how your story ties in to current affairs/ other stories in the news
  31. 31. HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHAT THEIR WHY IS?
  32. 32. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS
  33. 33. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment?
  34. 34. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment? 2. LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITES
  35. 35. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment? 2. LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITES 3. READ THEIR MEDIA PACKS
  36. 36. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment? 2. LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITES 3. READ THEIR MEDIA PACKS - For useful information on reader demographics and reach
  37. 37. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment? 2. LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITES 3. READ THEIR MEDIA PACKS - For useful information on reader demographics and reach 4. FOLLOW THEM ON SOCIAL
  38. 38. 1. READ THEIR PUBLICATIONS - from cover to cover! - Types of stories they’re covering - Format of the publication: any expert columns, specific sections such as Business or Entertainment? 2. LOOK AT THEIR WEBSITES 3. READ THEIR MEDIA PACKS - For useful information on reader demographics and reach 4. FOLLOW THEM ON SOCIAL - Which stories are getting the most engagement? - Share and comment on relevant posts to raise awareness of your brand
  39. 39. 5. BUILDING YOUR MEDIA LIST
  40. 40. PUBLICATION CONTACT NAME CONTACT DETAILS COVERAGE AUDIENCE FOCUS DEADLINE FREQUENCY 5. BUILDING YOUR MEDIA LIST
  41. 41. PUBLICATIO N CONTACT NAME CONTACT DETAILS COVERAGE AUDIENCE FOCUS DEADLINE FREQUENCY Name of publication Name and job title Email address and telephone number of editor/ journalist, Twitter handle Geographical area covered Business: - Job titles - Size of company Consumer: - Gender - Age - Income Subjects of interest Do particular months focus on particular themes? Submission deadline Weekly, monthly etc. 5. BUILDING YOUR MEDIA LIST
  42. 42. ** Tip: be aware some editors and journalists work across multiple publications. Take that into account when sending the same story to more than one outlet. No-one appreciates a blanket email! ** PUBLICATION CONTACT NAME CONTACT DETAILS COVERAGE AUDIENCE FOCUS DEADLINE FREQUENCY Name of publication Name and job title Email address and tel no of editor/ journalist, Twitter handle Geographical area covered Business: - Job titles - Size Consumer: - Gender - Age - Income Subjects of interest Do particular months focus on particular themes? Submission deadline Weekly, monthly etc. 5. BUILDING YOUR MEDIA LIST
  43. 43. 6. APPROACHING THE EDITOR
  44. 44. HOW CAN YOU MAKE THEIR LIFE EASIER? 6. APPROACHING THE EDITOR
  45. 45. MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  46. 46. • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  47. 47. • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE • COMPLETE – ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED? MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  48. 48. • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE • COMPLETE – ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED? • FACTUALLY CORRECT – WHERE NEEDED, QUOTE SOURCES MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  49. 49. • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE • COMPLETE – ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED? • FACTUALLY CORRECT - WHERE NEEDED, QUOTE SOURCES • EASY TO DIGEST MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  50. 50. • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE • COMPLETE – ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED? • FACTUALLY CORRECT - WHERE NEEDED, QUOTE SOURCES • EASY TO DIGEST • ACCURATE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY
  51. 51. MAKE YOUR STORY PUBLICATION READY • RELEVANT – TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE • COMPLETE – ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED? • FACTUALLY CORRECT - WHERE NEEDED, QUOTE SOURCES • EASY TO DIGEST • ACCURATE SPELLING AND GRAMMAR • VISUALLY ENGAGING – INCLUDE PHOTOS
  52. 52. RULES OF THUMB: READABILITY
  53. 53. RULES OF THUMB: READABILITY TITLE: make it catchy - ‘’Smells like team spirit!’’ - ‘’New Mills performing arts school hits the high note’’ - ‘’Stockport swim school swaps tumble turns for takeaways’’
  54. 54. RULES OF THUMB: READABILITY TITLE: make it catchy - ‘’Smells like team spirit!’’ - ‘’New Mills performing arts school hits the high note’’ - ‘’Stockport swim school swaps tumble turns for takeaways’’ LENGTH: between 300 and 350 words SHORT SENTENCES: aim for 15-20 words DESCRIPTIVE, ACTIVE LANGUAGE
  55. 55. RULES OF THUMB: FORMAT
  56. 56. RULES OF THUMB: FORMAT EASY-TO-READ FONT: such as Arial or Times New Roman AS A WORD DOCUMENT or embedded in email (pdf attachments can sometimes be blocked)
  57. 57. RULES OF THUMB: FORMAT INCLUDE A PHOTO - Reinforce the story - Include a caption - When including people: - include names, job titles and organisations (left to right) - obtain written permission (from a parent/ guardian if featuring a child) - Use jpeg format 1-2 MB EASY-TO-READ FONT: such as Arial or Times New Roman AS A WORD DOCUMENT or embedded in email (pdf attachments can sometimes be blocked)
  58. 58. 7. STRUCTURING YOUR PRESS RELEASE
  59. 59. 7. STRUCTURING YOUR PRESS RELEASE 1. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2. HEADLINE a) No more than 6-8 words b) Punchy and sparking interest 3. FIRST PARAGRAPH a) Short and to the point (who, what, when, where, why and how?) b) Capture the readers’ interest to read on…
  60. 60. 7. STRUCTURING YOUR PRESS RELEASE 4. SECOND AND THIRD PARAGRAPHS The detail (in order of importance…) a) WHO are you and who will benefit from your news b) WHAT’s new? c) WHEN did it/ will it take place? d) WHERE is it taking place and where does it impact? e) WHY should people be interested in this news? f) HOW will it be delivered? Include relevant quotes
  61. 61. 7. STRUCTURING YOUR PRESS RELEASE 5. –ENDS- 6. PHOTO CAPTION (left to right) 7. NOTES TO EDITOR Useful info but not needed for the story a) Boilerplate on the company b) Details of press contract
  62. 62. 7. STRUCTURING YOUR PRESS RELEASE 5. –ENDS- 6. PHOTO CAPTION (left to right) 7. NOTES TO EDITOR Useful info but not needed for the story a) Boilerplate on the company b) Details of press contract Download our Press Release template here
  63. 63. CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMISSION  FOLLOW THE SUGGESTED FORMAT OUTLINED ABOVE
  64. 64. CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMISSION  FOLLOW THE SUGGESTED FORMAT OUTLINED ABOVE  GET APPROVALS ON ANY: - Quotes - Photos
  65. 65. CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMISSION  FOLLOW THE SUGGESTED FORMAT OUTLINED ABOVE  GET APPROVALS ON ANY: - Quotes - Photos  EDIT AND PROOF
  66. 66. CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMISSION  FOLLOW THE SUGGESTED FORMAT OUTLINED ABOVE  GET APPROVALS ON ANY: - Quotes - Photos  EDIT AND PROOF  ADAPT AND PERSONALISE TO THE INTERESTS OF YOUR TARGET PUBLICATIONS  MAKE SURE YOU’VE ATTACHED YOUR PHOTO
  67. 67. CHECKLIST BEFORE SUBMISSION  FOLLOW THE SUGGESTED FORMAT OUTLINED ABOVE  GET APPROVALS ON ANY: - Quotes - Photos  EDIT AND PROOF  ADAPT AND PERSONALISE TO THE INTERESTS OF YOUR TARGET PUBLICATIONS  MAKE SURE YOU’VE ATTACHED YOUR PHOTO
  68. 68. 8. AMPLIFYING YOUR COVERAGE
  69. 69. 8. AMPLIFYING YOUR COVERAGE Share as widely as possible with customers, staff, partners and other stakeholders
  70. 70. 8. AMPLIFYING YOUR COVERAGE Share as widely as possible with customers, staff, partners and other stakeholders 1. YOUR WEBSITE 2. YOUR NEWSLETTER 3. SOCIAL
  71. 71. 8. AMPLIFYING YOUR COVERAGE Share as widely as possible with customers, staff, partners and other stakeholders 1. YOUR WEBSITE 2. YOUR NEWSLETTER 3. SOCIAL a) Photo of publication b) Tag the publication/ thank them for the coverage c) Add your own comment d) Ask influencers to retweet e) Share your press coverage with journalists
  72. 72. OVER TO YOU…  LIST THE STORIES THAT DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS
  73. 73. OVER TO YOU…  LIST THE STORIES THAT DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS  BUILD YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS LIST
  74. 74. OVER TO YOU…  LIST THE STORIES THAT DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS  BUILD YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS LIST  GET TO KNOW THOSE PUBLICATIONS
  75. 75. OVER TO YOU…  LIST THE STORIES THAT DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS  BUILD YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS LIST  GET TO KNOW THOSE PUBLICATIONS  PITCH YOUR STORY
  76. 76. OVER TO YOU…  LIST THE STORIES THAT DEFINE YOUR BUSINESS  BUILD YOUR MEDIA CONTACTS LIST  GET TO KNOW THOSE PUBLICATIONS  PITCH YOUR STORY
  77. 77. Learn more about Yellow Bird’s PR support:
  78. 78. Learn more about Yellow Bird’s PR support: VISIT OUR WEBSITE GET IN TOUCH OR

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