Time to tell your story…but tell it well!

By Lee Corden, of PLMR Advent

There’s nothing we like more than unearthing stories about businesses who are innovating or developing a new product or service that could be a game changer for their industry and seeing that story picked up by the media.

Most of our team are trained or experienced journalists, so we can spot a good story a mile off and we’ve helped countless businesses based at the Science Park – or supported by it – to achieve great media coverage over the years.

The biggest change to the media landscape since we started our business is the ability for companies to self-publish online and to be able to build an audience through social media.

Of course, media coverage is still hugely valuable in terms of reach and credibility, as well as being a great source for social media content, but businesses and organisations can now tell their own story just how they want.

This makes life easier, to some degree, as you don’t have to convince a journalist that your story is one worth telling. You can decide that for yourself.

But it has its own pitfalls too.

When you’re in PR, the acid test to any press release or pitch is whether it will interest the journalist and, therefore, you have to ask yourself questions such as ‘what is the hook?’ or ‘why would their readers/viewers/listeners be interested?

If the journalist isn’t drawn in then, sadly, that story won’t be told by them or their publication.

The ability to do it yourself means it is tempting to ignore the questions above, however, to me, this is missing the point.

Just because you’re not having to convince a reporter that your story is newsworthy, it is still vitally important to ensure that what you have to say stands out from the rest of the material available to your potential audience.

Therefore, it is still crucial to ask yourself why the people you are trying to reach will be interested in the story you are trying to tell.

If it is the launch of a business, tell your audience the problem you are going to solve and why they need to know about it.

If it’s a new appointment, make it personal. People are interested in people.

If it’s about business growth, explain how you’ve done it. Other company owners want to know the secret to success.

If you are supporting a charity, dig deeper and tell us why.

Crucially, try to avoid off-putting jargon or cliché. There’s nothing clever about confusing your audience with buzzwords or tech-speak.

Whether it’s a news article, blog or LinkedIn post, you don’t have long to convince people that they need to read what you have to say so make it as relatable as possible.

The truth is, there have never been more avenues for you to able to get your message out there but, equally, there has never been so much competition for your audience’s time.

This could be the perfect moment to tell your company’s story and by thinking about some of those elements above, you’ll be able to get the attention you deserve.

PLMR Advent is a media and communications agency based in Coventry. It’s part of the PLMR Group, which is in the top 50 agencies in the country.