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Inklings Blog

Breaking Through the News Cycle

April 18, 2017 Keith Giannini

Be relevant or risk fading away

Securing on-message media coverage has always been an exercise in creativity and persistence. In today’s rapid-fire, politically-driven news cycle, securing media coverage can seem like a nearly impossible task, especially for smaller organizations and startups.

So it’s time to throw in the towel and move entirely to native ads and paid social, right? While those may also be great options, don’t give up on the tremendous validation and visibility offered by legitimate media coverage just yet. Here’s how you can break through with your story.

By nature, we’re inclined to talk about ourselves and in most organizations that means promoting your products or services. However, the me-first opener is as likely to resonate with your audience as well as explaining calculus to a four-year-old. But what if you started talking to that four-year-old about counting the number of M&Ms in a bag? Then you would be connecting with the child on an emotional level. A similar, yet more sophisticated, approach needs to be applied to your communications strategy.

For most companies, there are two options for securing media coverage:

  1. Create your own news
  2. Insert yourself into the existing news stream

For smaller and mid-size companies, generating coverage for your own news is often an uphill battle, especially in today’s politically-charged news cycle. Breaking through for most companies requires understanding how your point of view relates to the zeitgeist. In the simplest terms, you need to identify where your perspectives overlap with what’s happening right now.  

A good example is the recent travel ban legislation, which affected a number of organizations with employees from, or traveling to, the impacted countries. Applying a unique, authentic point of view to this discussion provides the media with different perspectives on an already emotionally-charged topic. For instance, companies could discuss how the legislation impacted their business, their employees, their hiring trends, etc., adding valuable, real-world context to a story that was dominating media mindshare.

The focus must be on getting people to understand how you think about what is happening in the news to drive them into the top of your awareness funnel. Once your audience understands how you think, they are more inclined to want to know more about what you do.

While media coverage is never a guarantee, following these simple steps will help ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward to build brand awareness in even the busiest of news cycles.

  1. Determine your audience's emotional drivers
  2. Uncover your authentic point of view (and own it!)
  3. Identify existing news conversations where you can insert your story

Tags: Brand, Media Relations, Messaging, News, Technology, Earned Media, Enterprise Tech, How To, PR, Storytelling, Thought Leadership, policy, B2B

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