Almost every PR professional has been there. On the phone or through e-mail, pitching to a media outlet or blogger about why they should be interested in your client’s new product or campaign. Fingers crossed that when you hang up or hit send the receiver will be interested and inquire for more
information to run the story in his or her outlet. But alas, that doesn’t always happen. Was there not space for your piece or was the writer simply uninterested? Both are fair questions to ask, however, maybe you should consider how effective you were at telling your client’s story, first.
Once a week I volunteer with an organization that partners professionals with elementary aged youth for low cost tutoring. Recently, I was sitting with a young student trying my best to convey to him why reading and comprehension was so important. To keep my young friend engaged during reading time, I made sure to be especially elaborate and enthusiastic in whatever literary gem I was sharing with him. The more interested I was in the story-telling process, the more engaged he was, as well. So much so, that he left our session telling his friends about how the Tortoise “spanked the
Hare.” This let me know that something I did stuck with this kid, but more critically, he was so interested in what he was hearing that he went and told someone else. Isn’t that what we as PR professionals are hired to do? Share stories that ignite verbal and written flames that spread like wildfire?
To our benefit, there are several avenues we can leverage to accomplish our goals, with print, social media and mobile outlets. The challenge is getting an audience’s attention, keeping it engaged,
and more critically, getting audience members to share your message with others.
Here are a few tips on crafting and sharing an interesting narrative:
- Know your audience
- Relevantly incorporate current pop culture and newsworthy items
- Know your story, and be concise
- Identify what makes your message unique
- Ensure employees are knowledgeable about the messaging
Getting a blogger or media outlet to take childlike interest in the story you’re trying to tell may be difficult. As I am sure many of you have experienced, when you strike the right chord with members of your audience, it is difficult to stop them from spreading the word. If you’re a start-up trying to build its reputation and revenue, you also need for others to care about your story – reporting and word-of-mouth about who you are and what you do is vital in the success of today’s companies.
— Tracey Shavers is an intern at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.