3 key takeaways from MediaHQ’s Story Bootcamp

Story bootcamp

Here at MediaHQ.com, we love good story telling.

We host a number of training courses that are designed to help PR pros connect with the media and share their stories.

Below are three key points that cropped up in our latest Story Bootcamp workshop. Find out about our upcoming courses here.

Write your headline first

Your press release headline — or even the subject line on a pitch email — is the Tiffany’s wrapping paper on your story. It should invite the reader to engage with you.

By perfecting the headline before writing the body of the text, you allow yourself to focus on the message you are trying to convey.

The more specific your headline is, the easier it is to define your news angle. Completely pare back and find the essence of your story.

Find the story hook

When a journalist is fielding hundreds of calls and emails every day, you only have one crack at presenting your story idea to them.

Make it count: Find a solid news angle. Very simple, hard-edged stories work best. Look at what topics are setting the news agenda and think about how they affect your organisation.

There is a simple test to see whether or not your story has a solid hook: If you have to explain your idea more than once, then it is no good.

Even if you are dealing with a complex topic, there is always a way to break it down to its simplest form. Riff out different variations of the story until you have solved the riddle.

Embrace ‘Nerd’s Knowledge’

Create stories that appeal to your audience’s interests and emotions. Present your organisation as forward-thinking and offer a mixture of personality and hard news stories.

Think like a journalist and ‘own’ your organisation’s niche, just like the mattress company that opened a newsroom owns the topic of sleep.

You should be sharing stories through press releases or blog posts at least once a week. Even just a 150-word post. Get stuff out there. The communicator’s mantra is: If you have a hunch on something, act on it.

Our next course will teach you how to increase the chances of your press release getting noticed. For more, click here.

We are hosting a free briefing event on February 4 detailing the 10 traits of great in-house PR teams.

This article first appeared on MediaHQ.com.

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