How Newsrooms and Bookstores are Similar

A bookstore and the newsroom are similar in many ways. They are both packed with stories that want to be shared. Unfortunately, many quality stories are never told because they don’t get into the right hands.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a consumer looking for a great novel, or a business trying to get your story told through the media.

Knowing how to navigate a newsroom is crucial when it comes to getting a story placed in the media. You might have a great idea on your business or tech startup, but if you don’t know how to find the right journalist, your story won’t get told.

Newsrooms are packed with internal politics, hierarchies, titles and egos that frequently compete against each other. Identifying the right journalist or producer will increase your chances for a media placement.

How to Get a Story on the News

How many times have you walked into a bookstore, searching for a great book – only to walk out empty-handed because you can’t find one. A knowledgeable staff at any bookstore will always help you find the right book that fits your style. But you need to know when to approach them.

A great publicist understands the power of timing and how to identify the right journalist to pitch for your idea. The best publicists always listen to your business idea and  refine it in a way that will gain traction. A rookie publicist will be quick to say “yes” to your idea and run with before the idea is refined.

I saw this throughout my career with NBC and CBS – as both an Executive Producer and a Senior Producer. Young publicists pitched me ideas that weren’t completely refined. They were missing an element or lacked the substance to support the angle.

That’s not an effective approach with the media because you only get one shot to pitch an idea to an individual reporter. If your angle is off or not complete, you won’t get a second-chance to pitch it.

So the next time you are searching for a PR firm to help with your messaging, marketing or publicity, remember this bookstore analogy. Make sure your Marketing and PR firm knows how to identify the unique messaging and story that will get your story in front of the right person.

Macias PR was named the 2015 and 2016 top PR Firm of the Year – USA by Finance Monthly. The founder – Mark Macias – is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He is also a PR contributor with CNBC, providing media analysis, insight and crisis advice on timely business topics.