Information overload? Before the pandemic it’s fair to say we were bombarded with fake news, pointless media, celebrity culture, even the latest soap drama would worm its way in to our lives.
Today we have a different kind of information overload, on a weekly basis we seek, try to understand and make sense of the latest pandemic guidance. It’s necessary, and it’s of value, it helps keep us safe.
For the media the pandemic has been the lifeblood of their business, it is technically termed as ‘a good story’.
But with no pandemic end in sight where does it leave you when you have your own stories to share?
It all boils down to 10 simple steps:
Is this a big story? Could it be of national importance, if not, local or regional, on a smaller scale is it important to your social media audience. If right now you are helping to provide PPE in your community then that’s important.
Whatever the topic it has to relevant for its audience, you wouldn’t send a story about your PPE donations to the Financial Times but you’d definitely send it to your local newspaper.
Anyone or anything that wields power is of interest to the media. Whether it’s about a powerful person, corporation, or economy, how about this for a headline: “Entrepreneur donates thousands of items of PPE to local care homes”. Could that be you?
Does it involve a celebrity? In this celebrity obsessed era you’re sure to catch attention if your story involves someone who is well known. From a sports star visiting your charitable cause to an influencer referencing your brand in their communication, the opportunity is there for the taking.
It could be something quirky, something that breaks with tradition, or makes us laugh. You’ve seen the ‘how to’ wear a face mask guidelines but let’s admit it, it’s far more entertaining when demonstrated on a dog.
6. Bad news
The news is full of bad news; it won’t be difficult to follow an example. Pandemic, lockdown, job loses, economic disaster, you name it; the media just loves bad and sad news. I don’t advocate pushing bad news but if your business has been badly hit by the pandemic your local media will be interesed to learn of the local economic impact.
7. Good news
Achievement, success, triumph over adversity, heroism, bravery; from a local charity story to the elderly person in their 90’s walking out of hospital after having recovered from covid-19. Human interest and the feel-good factor is the key.
Hidden talents and myth busting are always good topics for the media. Did you know most people who get Covid–19 recover from it?
9. Follow up
Everyone likes a follow-up. Just think of the Sir Captain Tom Moore. From raising millions of pounds for NHS Charities Together at the start of the pandemic to signing a movie deal, we just love it when stories develop. Maybe you have a ‘latest development’ story, or ‘where we are now’ piece, either way so long as it shows progression, is interesting or grabs attention it will be valid.
Make sure it is placed in right place for your audience, and be realistic. Your charity donation is a very valid and worthy story but it won’t make the national newspapers, not unless it harnesses some of the points I mention above.
The secret to making a great story isn’t the quantity of information, it’s the quality of information created for the audience it’s intended for. Just make sure it’s newsworthy!