Written by Robyn T. Braley
It’s about the angle. It doesn't matter how comprehensive and accurate your media contact list is if you don't have the basics of your story pitch down pat.
Every day the Media is inundated by story possibilities. You need unique, unusual and creative ideas to cut through the clutter.
An editor, producer, reporter or show host will take 4-5 seconds to decide whether to consider your pitch or to trash it. If you don’t have a strong angle, or hook, the decision will be easy for them. With a quick click your story will be deleted as they move on to the next story idea.
How do you determine the strongest angle? Ask this simple but pointed question.
“What difference will it make?”
The answer will be your angle. It must be crafted to grab their attention. It will help form the subject line of your news release.
Make it Stand Out
An active service club has a wide range of projects that are ideal for generating media coverage. These are just a few programs my club supports now or have supported in the past. Your club will have similar stories to tell.
Ø Building schools in Guatemala
Ø Scholarships for disadvantaged
Ø Funding local lunch programs
Ø Local and international school partnerships
Ø Funded Simon the Safety Bear, a furry mascot. Helps police teach traffic safety to kids
Ø Funding purchase of kitchen equipment for a shelter
Ø Funding and volunteering to serve meals at a shelter
Ø Funding programs in Africa, Dominican Republic and Nepal
Ø Volunteering to promote the cause locally and internationally
Ø Clean water
Ø Funding and volunteering to install filters in
Ø Funding Alzheimer treatment programs
Ø Funding addictions programs
Ø Funding art program in a cancer centre
Ø Funding and volunteering for polio vaccination missions in Africa and India
Ø Funding the purchase and refurbishing used ambulances for Mexico
Ø Funding and promoting organ transplant awareness
Ø Funding domestic violence programs
Ø Funding organizations rescuing child sex slaves
Ø Funding and volunteering for teen pregnancy programs
Ø Funding playground equipment
Ø Funding creation of Rotary Challenger Park for people with disabilities
Ø Funding soccer program for Syrian refugee children
Broaden Your Base
Examine your story from every perspective. O.K.! From every angle. You may discover a number of potential sidebar angles within the bigger story.
Examine your story from every perspective. O.K.! From every angle. You may discover a number of potential sidebar stories within the bigger story. What journalist would be interested in that story?
Changing the World
Let’s create a realistic example using a micro-credit project. Your club may have provided seed funding and organized volunteers to go to a developing nation to work with a local micro-credit project. Story angles that could spin out of the project may include these.
Robyn Braley is a marketing specialist, keynote speaker and writer. He is also a Rotarian who is passionate about Building the Rotary Brand. He has led two teams that received the Rotary International PR Award. He has also served as the PR Chair for District 5360. Robyn has placed hundreds of traditional and new media stories about Rotary and other organizations.