When a national story breaks, the instinct is to cover the story as it is. However, most journalists want to find a way to connect that national story to what is happening locally. Trade journalists want to connect that national story to their niche. If you are a savvy public relations representative, you will link your news to that of the national story. Read this article for helpful tips to link your press release to national trends.
by Louise Harris
In journalism, there is a saying, “You need to zag when everyone else zigs.” This means that you need to be different from the pack. You need to cover a different story when everyone else in the field is honing in on a particular news story. However, you don’t have to zag completely. You could just find a new angle that others hadn’t considered. The most effective press releases are those that localize a national story or trend or find a way to connect to a niche.
1. Study Social Media
If you are looking for a national trend or story, you need to look no further than your social media. They usually will list trends and most popular feeds or threads. You can take one of these trends and find an angle to connect to your company. For example, because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many hot trends involve breast cancer in some way. To be trendy but local, you could write a press release touting your organization getting involved with breast cancer issues. However, you would want to avoid, the pink ribbon or anything pink because it is trite and overused. You could create a special event, such as a throwing pies at the chief executive officer to support employees and families with breast cancer. If you choose something different, you are more likely to draw interest to your breast cancer release over others that flood the newsrooms.
2. Take It to the Streets
Before social media, journalists used to go out to street corners and ask people about a national trend or event. This is known as “Man in the Street Reporting.” The type of reporting is not used as often because social media help journalists find opinions, but it still happens. If you are P.R. representative, you can use this technique too. You can do a survey among your clients, customers or employees and get their opinions. Then, you would write a press release about the results. You could go to a shopping mall and ask people what they think about something happening and come up with a way that connects to your company or industry. For example, suppose people are talking about a natural disaster. You could go to a shopping mall and ask people how they survived the disaster or what they would like to see your company do for people who are cleaning up after a flood or storm. This will show journalists that you care, are willing to listen and are taking action for your community.
3. Join With Others
Sometimes, you can localize a story by joining with others to solve a problem. This would also be a good angle for a group of competitors in one industry getting together for a common cause. For example, you and your competitors could get together to clean up a highway or park. These types of stories usually hit the news when companies come together after a man-made or natural disaster. After Houston was devastated last year, companies came together to help. Manufacturers sent products; UPS offered shipping; and energy companies sent extra personnel to relieve workers in those areas. If you represent a company or industry, you can appeal to journalists by showing how you are helping and respectful of your competition. Often, entire industries will do something together to show a united front. Trade journalists love these types of feel-good stories.
You can give journalists something to consider that is different from national trends. All you have to do is come up with a way to localize a trend or find a way to connect to your industry.
THE NEXT STEP
Your press release may not attract national media, but you could get the attention in your area if you think about how to spin it. The staff at Faselis are here to help you to distribute your localized press release to the local media members.
You should check Faselis PR features on Faselis websites.