7 questions PR pros should ask to tell a brand’s story

Even the most unglamorous of companies has stories. Brand managers can uncover these tales with these considerations.

To gain media coverage for your clients or your brand, you must be able to find interesting stories and share them in an appealing and simple way with journalists.

Not all stories are obvious. People in unsexy or unglamorous industries may wonder why a journalist would be interested in writing their lives and work.

However, all brand managers have stories, expertise or advice to share. The trick is to find and package the stories in an interesting way to catch a journalist’s attention.

Find the stories within your business by asking yourself the following questions:

1. What is different? What are you offering that no other business is? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Journalists are always looking for something different or unique. How you came to build the company, the products or services you offer or the unique way in which you offer them are all potential stories.

Include in these types of stories what it means for the consumer and what benefits they gain.

2. What is new? There is a reason it is called news; journalists are interested in things that are timely.

If you launched a new product, don’t wait a week to tell journalists about it. Spread the word before and as it happens.

3. What are your customers interested in? If there’s a run on a specific product or service, ask yourself why it’s happening. For example, if memberships at your gym have tripled in the month leading up to summer, make this into a story.

Keep an eye on what your target audience is talking about, because this is a true indication of what they are interested in. Can you comment on the topic they care about?

4. What are the trends in your industry? Every industry goes through times of growth, cutbacks, evolutions and changes.

When these situations arise, step forward as a spokesman or spokeswoman to comment on these topics.

Has a new technology just come out that will change how you do business? Offer to discuss with journalists the impact it will have on your industry. If you do this consistently, reporters will start to see you as an industry expert and come to you for opinions.

5. Are there evergreen stories to tell? Evergreen stories are those that come around every year, such as Christmas, tax time and school holidays. If you can link your brand to events like these, you might be in luck: Journalists and broadcasters are looking to fill their publications and timeslots with stories relating to the time of year.

For example, an accountant knows what businesses need to do leading up to tax time or a brand manager for a childcare facility could share ways to entertain children during school holidays.

6. What has your brand accomplished? What milestones has your business achieved recently? If you signed five new clients or won an award, let journalists know.

Though reporters aren’t interested in mundane activities such as employees of the month, they will care if it is interesting and a big deal.

7. How has your company overcome adversity? Everyone loves a story about overcoming a problem and succeeding despite setbacks. Did you lose investors at the last minute, or did a competitor move in next door? How did you overcome this obstacle to succeed in your venture?

Explaining how you conquered difficulty allows your audience to learn from your experiences.

Once you have answered these questions and found your stories, start pitching them to journalists, publications and other media outlets that are interested your company and industry topics.

Catriona Pollard is the author of “Unknown to Expert” and the founder of CP Communications, a Sydney-based PR and social media agency. A version of this article was originally published on the agency’s blog .


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