If you ask most brands whether or not they deserve press coverage, the answer is a resounding yes. But push a little further and ask, “Why should anyone write about your brand?” and the answer becomes much more difficult to articulate. This question is never an easy way to start a client meeting, but it is exactly where companies need to start when thinking about crafting a press worthy brand story.
The media is looking for all the same things that your audience is. They want to connect to your unique value. They want a powerful, concise story that communicates the reasons to believe in your brand and invest in your product – and a reason to care, today.
You need to ask yourself not just who you are and what you do, but why should it be of interest to anyone?
Some of my favorite questions to start with are:
- What is the brand strong at?
- What is the brand’s hallmark?
- What new can the brand offer audiences?
- What useful things can the brand offer?
A press release is a form of brand narrative
In every press release we have to answer three fundamental questions, what is the story, why is it relevant to the reader, and why should you be the one to tell it. Answering these three questions makes a successful pitch, it can also help turn your brand narrative into a more relevant story. These questions are all designed to uncover a brand’s identity and relevance.
Writing a press release is a return to the beginning of your brand narrative. Remember why you even decided to create a brand? What did you rely on when creating it? Who was your mastermind? What is the original story?
Speak the language your audience will understand
When it comes to pitching journalists, it’s essential to remember that personalization is key. Sending a pitch that is tailored to a specific journalist and their area of expertise is crucial to avoid any awkward situations that could damage your reputation and that of your brand.
To make a successful pitch, you should aim to provide a unique perspective or solution to an existing problem or share a story that inspires people to take action – similar to writing your narrative. However, you should avoid using buzzwords like “user-friendly” or “innovative” because they don’t provide any new or unique information to your audience. In the Cision report, you can find a complete list of words that journalists do not like. This list is good to avoid in general.
When creating your pitch, it’s important to first consider your brand’s mission and identity. Who are you and why do you exist? What unique problem do you solve, and why should people care about it? Hopefully you’ve already identified these answers when writing your brand narrative, but if not, answering these questions can help you better craft a pitch that clearly communicates the true value of your brand.
Once you have a clear understanding of your brand’s identity and purpose, it’s time to create a concise and compelling pitch. This pitch should be broken down into several key points that highlight the most important aspects of your brand and its message. These points should be easy to understand and deliver a clear message to the recipient.
It’s important to keep in mind that your pitch should not only be brief, but also relevant and interesting to the recipient. You need to show why your brand is unique and how it can benefit the journalist’s audience. By doing so, you increase the chances of your pitch being accepted and potentially resulting in media coverage for your brand.
I often use prompts like:
- We make this product…
- It’s important and interesting because…
- We want to report that…
- Will you be interested?
At the same time, it is useful to include statistical and other digital data in the pitch, if any. For example, some publications like big deals and investments, and others will only run case studies, or pieces that include analytics and research in the pitch. Others want a pitch that includes a human interest element. For example, I once helped land an article on how a math teacher, using an online lesson product, helped children with disabilities. Perhaps there are similar cases in every country, but this was a unique story for the brand and a compelling story about real people. It was both unique, and relatable to many, which was ideal for that publication.
The main thing to remember is that your story should be tailored to be a perfect fit for the target audience of the journalist or editor. This is already 50% success. One interesting practice, if you develop software, is to enable a journalist to test it. This allows them to get acquainted with the product and form an opinion from personal experience. Finding a way to connect is always the best strategy.
When it comes to sharing your brand story with the media, it’s important to strike a balance between revealing enough to capture their interest, but not giving away all your secrets. By creating an engaging narrative that is relevant, you’ll build recognition and loyalty among your audience – especially if your story stands out from the competition.
In order to make a lasting impression on the audience, it’s important to include interesting and memorable facts about your brand. Share anecdotes, throw in some stats, or even recount personal experiences that highlight what makes your brand special. The more relatable you are to your target audience, the better.
Sharing your brand’s story in the media is an investment in its future. The more one-of-a-kind your narrative, the more it’ll stick in people’s minds for years to come. Your brand is likely already doing the narrative work, the next step is making that narrative press worthy.
The secret to being press worthy is being relevant, and every brand wants that.
By intertwining your unique narrative with current cultural happenings, you can enhance your connection with both the media and your audience, ultimately leading to greater success in business and press coverage.
Cover image source: Aleksey 159