SOMETIMES THE TRUTH HURTS…
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn when it comes to the world of public relations and buzz building – one that is extra challenging for those of us who love order, control and “a + b = c” type living, is that nothing is ever guaranteed when you’re pitching the press, and no strategy can be seen as a hard and fast rule that applies to every expert, entrepreneur, or brand.
That’s because publicity is “earned media” (advertising is paid) and if you aren’t buying it you aren’t controlling it my friend. Another thing we always have to remember is the fact that media success is governed by real people (yes there are human beings behind those email addresses), who like snowflakes, are all very different. They have different personalities, likes, dislikes and backstories. They’re also impacted by the news cycle and stories that can change in an instant, and by advertisers who indirectly and directly influence the types of stories that do, and don’t, get picked up by the magazines, television shows or online outlets you’re dreaming about in your publicity fantasies.
THAT BEING SAID, ALL IS NOT LOST!
Despite this, there are go-to pitching strategies that have been used for years by industry pros because they known these angles will get the attention of the media. Just like recipes passed down through friends and family, they’ve proven successful time and time again for PR professionals and business owners alike, and just like recipes, these strategies can be tweaked, personalized and experimented with and more often than not, they will turn into delicious, #PRSexy success stories. I’m talking you sharing tips on television. Your brand getting in a write up in a dream business publication. Your expertise reaching thousands via an online feature.
Sound good to you? Well let’s get cooking!
How to Swipe These Story Angles
Over the past decade I’ve learned plenty about what does – and what doesn’t – work when it comes to pitching the press. Though creating story angles that are authentic to you, your brand, and your goals is essential to your publicity campaign, you should never shy away from incorporating ideas into your outreach that are tried, tested – and I’m just going to own this – irresistible to local and national press when you add your own special flare, story and oomph to them.
I’ve turned to the three angles below regularly for years and have used them to create magnetic pitches for brands and experts ranging from doctors to beauty experts, fitness pros to handbag designers, and oh-so-many-other entrepreneurs in between. (And there’s more where that came from, my friends! I’ve got 35 of them for you here!)
How can you use them to boost your own visibility and grow meaningful relationships with the media?
- Pick an angle or two that really resonate with you. If one of them feels like too much of a stretch don’t force it, just table it in your idea bank for another time.
- Just like when you’re cooking, adjust and tweak the angle to make it work for your brand, business and expertise.
- Write the pitch and add it to your PR campaign plan. I recommend using email outreach when sharing it because let’s be real, who wants to be bombarded with phone calls from strangers during their busy media work day? Answer: No member of the press I know!
- BONUS ALERT FOR YOUR BLOG: Not ready to do your own PR? Don’t have the time to turn these into pitches to the press? DO NOT LET THESE PRIMO STORY ANGLES GO TO WASTE! Turn them into content on your own blog. Not only will they attract current and new readers to your website like tweens to a Justin Bieber concert, but they’ll give you three more chances to share your story and your expertise with the community of brand evangelists and Beliebers – I mean believers – you’re building.
- Don’t forget! At the end of this post I have a link that will take you to 33 more of these ideas! You’re welcome ; )
COME AND GET ‘EM, AND STEAL ‘EM AND USE THEM
STORY ANGLE #1: Help People Prevent Mistakes
Make yourself of great service to readers, listeners, or viewers by stopping them from making costly mistakes. You’ll do this by sharing your expertise, service, or product. The mistakes that you’re going to help people solve can be common or can be something consumers may not even know they’re making (until you let them know).
Your goal with this pitch will be to identify the mistakes and provide interesting solutions for them. Remember, if you’re pitching this to a television station you’ll also want to share how you can visually provide a remedy for these mistakes and problems – even if your solution includes an App or something online (screenshots and live iPads can assist you here).
Real Life Examples:
5 Mistakes Homeowners Make That Cost Them Big Money
7 Fashion Mistakes Women Make Every Summer & How to Prevent Them
Top Tax Deduction Mistakes that Cost Americans Thousands of Dollars in Lost Refunds Every Year Every Year
STORY ANGLE #2 : Help People Stop Doing Something Once & For All
Think about things that your ideal audience may be trying to stop doing or get rid of once and for all. This could be anything from rodents in their backyard to bad habits.
Using your expertise and experience, it’s your job to teach them strategies, give them tools or talk about products that can get rid of this (X) once and for all!
Real Life Examples:
Get Rid of Your Love Handles Once and For All, Trainer Has Tips
Get Rid of Your Tax Season Fear: You Don’t Have to Be Stressed About Filing, Let This Local Accounting Pro Make You Fearless
Is Your Puppy Chewing All Your Furniture? Break This Habit Once and for All with Animal Expert’s Secret Strategy
STORY ANGLE #3 : Let People in on an Industry Secret
Who doesn’t want to be let in on a little secret? The press love to reveal hidden secrets – from any industry- and they do this by providing insider tips, secrets and tricks to help people do just about anything in their life better. What can you teach people? What does your expertise give you insight into that others may want to know and find valuable?
Don’t forget that if you are a product-based businesses you can still shine here because whatever you’re creating product-wise most likely gives you insight into an industry technique or trick that other people may find valuable. Pinpoint what this (or these) are and make it impossible for the press to not want to share it with their readers, viewers and listeners. Bonus: Adding words like “secret”, “reveal” or similar copy into your subject line or pitch copy makes this story angle even more enticing!
Real Life Examples:
5 Secrets About Sugar Every Fitness Pro Knows
Secrets to Healthy Nails Every Manicurist Knows
The Best Kept Secrets to Shopping the Sale Racks
6 Secrets to Make Your Vegetables & Fruit Last Longer from the Founder of Eddie’s Organic Fruit FarmSomeone did the work for you: Swipe these story angles the press & your blog readers will LOVE! Click To Tweet
THERE’S MORE WHERE THAT CAME FROM!
Like what you see? Would you like to score more (try 32 more) story angles you can use for your press outreach and your blog? Download them instantly, and use them just as quickly. Find the E-book featuring all 35 Story Ideas here!
Have any go-to story angles or pitch ideas that have worked wonders for your publicity campaign? Any blog post ideas boost your readership more than others? Share it below!