The primary considerations in any planned media campaign are knowing what exactly you want people to know about and who you need to reach with that message. That was the clear message participants on a recent Shannon Chamber media training webinar, delivered by Clare FM, were told.
“Newsrooms are busy places; that’s why you need to make your story as digestible as possible to help it stand out from the crowd,” presenter Gavin Grace, former anchor of Morning Focus with the radio station, advised.
Outlining the types of news items businesses most commonly issue, such as jobs announcements, winning an award, celebrating a landmark or a corporate social responsibility (CSR) undertaking, Mr Grace said that the critical next steps are identifying the story’s audience and the outlets most likely to be interested in covering it.
Taking participants through the structure of a press release, he stated: “The headline must be compelling; the opening paragraph should tell the story in two or three sentences; the main body copy should relate the story as close as possible to how it might appear in a newspaper article and include quotes, and a contact person must be given for any follow-up.
“Press releases must be issued as email body copy, not as an attachment, with accompanying images sent as a link, not as an attachment.
Mr Grace also stated that stories that are worth telling should also be shared on a company’s website and social media channels and staff should also be invited to share it on their personal pages. Interview appearances should be promoted in advance and the news journalist should be thanked for covering it.
Sharing some insights into preparing for live interviews he added: “Know the interview length in advance of doing it, plan your three key points, anticipate difficult questions and pay attention to how you sound.
“The opportunities to secure positive media coverage for your company are there and the positive benefits are real. Plan your strategy in advance and it will make everything so much easier. Most importantly, give a media organisation everything they need to run your story,” he concluded.
Thanking Clare FM for sharing these nuggets of information with members, Shannon Chamber CEO Helen Downes added: “We were delighted to be able to offer a programme of this nature via our Skillnet network. A lot of companies may outsource this element of their business, but for those who don’t, this webinar was extremely informative and has given our members gems of information on how to consider promoting their businesses.”
For further information on upcoming Shannon Chamber Skillnet training, log onto www.shannonchamberskillnet.com