In our line of work, the results are tangible and securing coverage in the right areas is the absolute priority for the majority of our clients.
There are a number of methods we use to generate coverage, including identifying relevant news angles, researching relevant feature opportunities and adding our clients’ voices to industry conversations. But whichever method we use, there’s one common factor at the root of success – capturing the media’s attention.
At Faith PR, we work with clients operating across a range of industries, including automotive, energy, horticultural and education, so the media we interact with is diverse and each sector has its own perceptions of what’s important to its audience.
We understand the importance of keeping the audience in mind and letting that inform the angle and tone of any copy we produce. After all, it’s the readers than an editor is looking to appeal to. And those are the first steps towards capturing the media’s attention – understanding what topics they are interested in talking about.
Often this process starts before a press release, feature or quote has even been written. We ask editors what is on their publication’s agenda for the next edition and in the months ahead and this informs the process of what to write about and what is likely to grab their attention. Sending unsolicited feature copy, or even news, which may be irrelevant to them, when you haven’t established what sort of content they’re looking for, will often fail to grab an editor’s attention.
By laying the foundations before issuing content, you stand a much better chance of hitting the right targets and generating coverage.
To ensure your news content grabs attention, it’s important to be succinct and factual, while creating intrigue with your headline and opening paragraph. For example, if we are communicating the appointment of new staff at a business we work with, we may avoid stating the name of the business in the headline.
Twisted Automotive may become ‘a Yorkshire-based Defender specialist’, while we may refer to Kinect Energy as ‘a leading utility management consultant’.
By teasing information in your opening lines, you are encouraging your media target to read on to discover more. Giving the game away in the first sentence may not invest the reader in your content as effectively or grab their attention when the news lands in their inbox.
Also, you can also make an editor’s life easier by including hi-res photography.
It is also crucial to help your media target uncover potential headlines.
Forensically listing facts and figures does not provide an effective platform from which an editor can craft a news story, so focus on the important stuff. If a business we are working with has made several investments of between £5,000 and £10,000, we will usually round the figure up in the opening line.
It creates a natural headline, while also adding strength to the story, and you can always break down the numbers later in the piece.
Finally, it is important that you cut through technical jargon, especially if you are engaging with media not familiar with your client’s industry.
While trade and specialist publications understand technical language, consumer publications, regional newspapers and nationals often do not, and their editors know that technical language will not resonate with their readers. So, make sure you explain terminology, define acronyms and word your information in a way that can be understood by somebody who doesn’t have knowledge of what the business in question does.
By the end of the article, they should understand what service the business provides – even if they’d never heard of them before.
There is no quick fix for grabbing the media’s attention and often many months of groundwork must be undertaken before you are able to successfully engage. But by taking a more considered approach, you can boost your chances.