In this step, we’ll work through drafting the documents you will send to the media.
First we’ll help you figure out your key messages.
We’ll then show you how to draft a media release and give you a template to follow. We'll also help you work out what photos you need to illustrate your story.
Once you have worked through each 'tab' and you are happy with your materials, you can move on to Step 3 where we’ll go through which media to target and the best way to outreach to them.
First you need to think about what key pieces of information you want to get across in your stories. There’s no point going to all the effort of creating a story if it doesn’t do the job of communicating the key elements of your business.
We’ve created a worksheet to help you figure out what your key messages are. These are for internal purposes only, not to send to media.
You will use a media release to communicate your story. You should have worked out what you want to say in the Building your story worksheet, so refer back to it when you draft your release. We have put pointers in the template to show you what to put where.
You have to get your point across quickly to grab the media’s attention, so think carefully about your headline. I was taught to ‘say it straight and let the journalist create’, so your job is to pull out the most interesting and attention grabbing point and lead with that, not to be so clever and creative that your headline ends up being too cryptic to understand. If you have a killer fact/stat then use that.
Eg. ‘Nearly 80% of kids not brushing teeth correctly. App to stop early decay in children’.
‘900 children die every day. Wiping your bum can save lives’
(900 children under 5 die every day from diseases caused by poor sanitation so Who Gives a Crap toilet paper gives 50% of its profits to sanitation projects around the world).
‘Fashionable spectacles launch to help you sleep’
(Baxter Blue created glasses that overcome digital eyestrain for those that don’t normally wear spectacles and thereby preventing the blue light that disrupts from reaching the eye).
If you fancy being creative, then go ahead, but remember, not at the expense of clarity:
'Can you find a BFF on an app?’
(app for finding friends, not lovers).
‘DD cup runneth over for online bra salesman’
(online bra company launches for larger women)
‘Duo collars market with digital shirt making’
(shirt company launches using digital technology)
Once you have your headline, you have to tell the story. There is a formula to writing a release and we show you that formula in the media release template that you download.
You are not writing a finished article for the journalist, but rather you are giving them the building blocks to write their own story.
When we were taught to write a story at school, we were told that all good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Well completely forget that! With a media release, you flip this; you start with the punch line and work your way back from there.
At the end of your media release, make sure you include a company boiler plate - this covers the basic details about your company and what it does. It’s a quick reference tool for media so they get all the facts about your company correct. We’ll point you in the right direction in the template.
PHOTOS & TV FOOTAGE
PRINT & ONLINE
You need to think about what images you will supply the media to illustrate your story. You will need some jpeg images of some or all of the below:
Your product (on a white background and in situ/in use)
Your homepage or app (always nice to give a few options)
Your app in action
Customers using your product or service if possible/appropriate
Always have shots of the founders for a business story
Don’t send massive files – reduce them down to around 1-2MB and 300dpi for print.
Try to have a selection of images so you can send different ones to different media.
Online publications prefer landscape images as they fit better with their designs.
If you can, try to get your brand name or product in the shots of people. That could be the founders holding or using the product or the logo on a wall behind them or something as simple as wearing a t-shirt with a logo on it. Something as blatant as wearing a logo t-shirt only tends to work for the business media so try to be more subtle for the consumer media.
Provide a link to a Dropbox folder or similar from which media can download the images. Consider using bit.ly to reduce and customise the name of the link.
It's all about first impressions, so consider using a professional photographer. A good shot can greatly increase your chances of getting coverage.
For TV, you need to give the producer lots of filming options so they have enough footage for the length of the story. They will film most of it themselves, but the more options you can give them, the bigger the story will be.
Interview with your company spokesperson
Interview with your expert about the issue
Interview with/footage of your case study
Try to supply footage of your product being used and/or the problem it solves in action – you can either set this up so the TV program can film it or you can do it yourself beforehand, so long as it’s professionally shot and high enough quality to run on TV. You might already have this footage for your website.
Please don't progress to Step 3 until you have completed
key messages & media release.
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