By Mark Macias
Many people assume there is a secret formula to getting stories on TV or in the newspapers. If that were the case, the formula would have been hacked and posted on the Internet by now.
It’s also not about who you know, which many outsiders assume. Yes – a friend in the media can help you by guiding or framing the story, but if you don’t have a solid idea, they won’t run it on the news – no matter how close you are.
A more successful media strategy is identifying the strongest narrative with an angle that is creative and unique. As an Executive Producer with WNBC in New York, I approved the story ideas from reporters, producers and publicists. I also approved the scripts that came out of our consumer, health and medical units. When I was reviewing these scripts, or trying to identify whether this was a story of interest, I would use these traits to help me guide me.
1) Is it timely?
2) How does this benefit our readers?
3) What is the controversy and does it have a solution?
4) Is there an interactive element we can add?
5) Who else has done this story?
Generally speaking, if you can craft a media campaign around those questions, you will have more success with your media placements. You can also get some guidance by looking closely at the media formula photo we posted above this article.
Mark Macias is a former Executive Producer with NBC and Senior Producer with CBS in New York. He’s also the author of the communications book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media, which has been featured in the NY Times, Fox Business, NY Post and others. Macias consults small and large businesses on how to get publicity. You can read more on his firm at MaciasPR.