Packaging the Perfect Media Message

Most media people have policies against receiving gifts.  But there is one gift that all of them welcome: a great story idea. Great stories get attention and can lead to promotions, awards and prestige.  That's why the media is always on the lookout for the next great idea. 

So how do you come up with a great angle? 

Think like a reader, listener or viewer of the media.  What would interest you when you're reading a newspaper or magazine, listening to the radio or watching TV?  

To get you thinking, here are 10 questions to consider:

1. Did your client recently launch a new product or service?

2. Can you tie-in with a current trend in business or society (such as weight loss or home and personal security)?

3. Is the business or organization unusual in any way (such as minority-owned, fifth-generation family business, charity that helps a previously ignored group)?

4. Does your client have information that people always want to know about (such as tax tips or nutrition ideas)?

5. What is the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of the business (what makes it unique from other businesses in the industry?)

6. Does the client have controversial employees, a colorful leader, or has it taken a different position on a current issue?

7. Has the organization or any employees or volunteers won any significant awards or had any major achievements?

8. Is the business or organization very tied in to certain holidays (a candy store, for instance)?

9. Does the business or organization have connections or spokespeople who are local, national or international celebrities (such as Dan Marino, former Miami Dolphins player, as a spokesperson for Levinson Jewelers in South Florida; interior designers who have decorated homes for celebrities)?

10. Is the business involved with charity causes? Does your charity have business partnerships?

The answers to these questions are the starting point for creating solid publicity angles.  This will lead to great story ideas, and ultimately terrific media coverage for your client.

This article was written by Margie Fisher, president of Margie Fisher Public Relations. It was excerpted from her Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Kit (and appears on the All About Public Relations Web site).