In the media world, there are common news values every story contains including impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, bizarreness, conflict and currency. In order to earn media coverage for clients, the story you are sharing must fall into one or more of these newsworthy categories.
When there are big announcements to share such as a restaurant’s grand opening, a new CEO, a 10-year anniversary, a new experience or an impactful event, the news values are clear and straightforward. But what happens when a client doesn’t have any new information to share in order to garner media coverage?
Even during a pitching slump, it’s crucial to keep clients relevant among key target audiences. Utilizing creative holidays to develop a sense of newsworthiness can lead to coverage and earned media when there aren’t any new client announcements internally.
As public relations, marketing and social media experts, we’ve compiled our top tips for getting out of a pitching slump with creative holidays below.
WHAT HOLIDAY CAN YOU SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THAT NO ONE ELSE CAN?
Sure there are plenty of fun, random holidays ending up on the news year after year, but what’s a story only you can tell? Let’s say it’s National Coffee Day. What would make a news station want to cover what’s brewing at a local coffee shop versus Starbucks’ fall drink lineup? If you have no way to stand out from the competition, especially giant corporations, the angle you’re taking may not work.
Think about what separates you as a company. Who are your employees and what are their stories, where do you source your ingredients from, what draws customers to you versus your competitor and so on. Perhaps you’re looking to obtain news coverage for National Irish Coffee Day instead. You’re able to differentiate yourself because you’re the only place in town that imports your whiskey directly from a distillery in Dublin. You also make fresh heavy cream every morning and constantly receive raving reviews on your Irish Coffee from customers. This is a story you can tell that Starbucks can’t.
There are many different ways to earn media coverage once you differentiate yourself. Perhaps your barista performs a live drink-making demo on the morning news. Maybe you appear in a consumer food magazine as the best Irish Coffee stop in Las Vegas. Once you’re established as an expert in your subject matter, it is much easier to earn media coverage.
WHAT CAN YOU OFFER A REPORTER VISUALLY?
Now that you have potential story ideas and angles, it’s time to think like a reporter. Whether it’s TV, print or digital, you are going to need to provide the journalist with visual elements to tell the story. Think about how you are going to capture the holiday visually for your audience.
If it’s National Donut Day and you have the largest display of donuts in Las Vegas, this sought-after shot will make you much more likely to earn news coverage. The reporter and cameraman will want to film your store and display rather than your competitor only displaying 20 plain donuts.
DOES THE HOLIDAY TRULY ALIGN WITH YOUR BUSINESS?
Although fun, creative holidays are great for potentially earning media coverage and getting out of a pitching slump, a holiday must truly align with your company and messaging in order for this strategy to work. Journalists can sense inauthenticity. Do not throw out an abundance of ideas and holidays hoping you’ll appear to be an expert in all of them.
If a reporter does reach out, provide a spokesperson who’s an expert on the holiday you’ve pitched. If you truly can’t speak on behalf of a holiday or an event happening, the reporter and your audience will lose trust and confidence in your business. Find one holiday you see fit and maximize the opportunity rather than aiming for multiple interview opportunities you may not be suitable for.
Now that you have a better idea of how to stay relevant among key target audiences even during a pitching slump, it’s time to develop a sound media relations strategy. From key messaging points to targeting specific news outlets and reporters, The Vox Agency is here to help you earn positive media coverage for your business.