How to… Plan, Write and Release Your Story
In a recent blog, we looked at ways to identify the stories in your business or organisation. Now let’s look at how you plan, write and release these stories.
We always advise putting a plan or timeline together before writing your stories or news releases. Look at which stories are time critical – for example, a key anniversary , moving premises, a new summer menu – and plan these in first. Then look at how you can build your overall narrative using the other stories you have.
It’s important to know who your audiences are and which stories you want them to read. Perhaps you’re launching a new product. If so, you want to let existing customers know – as well as potential new ones. Add this to your plan.
News releases are always a great starting point for focusing your story. They can be adapted to become blog articles and web copy, expanded into feature articles or condensed into a tweet or Facebook post.
There are some basic rules to writing news releases (watch out for more detail in future blogs!). One of the key ones is to answer the “so what?” question in the very first sentence. Ensure you say enough to sell the story immediately, so that journalists want to read on.
Then you need to include the ‘why, what, when, how, who’. It’s amazing how easy it is to assume too much knowledge and therefore omit a key fact. Always include contact information too.
You need to target the publications, journalists and bloggers that your audiences read and follow. Do your research first – use search engines, apply your knowledge of your trade and its key publications, talk to your customers about what they read. Once you have a list of contacts, send them your story.
And finally… images
If you have good quality images to accompany your story, then always use them. We’ll cover the use of images and video to enhance your story in another blog!
We have a wealth of experience and a passion for helping businesses and organisations share their stories.
So if you need help or advice on media planning, writing news releases our finding the right target channels for your stories, please contact us.