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FROM TEDIOUS TOPIC TO STIMULATING STORY

Katie Fauquier
Account Supervisor
  Back To All

It’s the dream of PR professionals to have a plethora of visual, timely and engaging topics to pitch to media. Those pitches that immediately lead to a flood of excited replies and calls from journalists are the goal, but often are a rarity. Each day, we’re faced with the challenge of turning a client’s dream story into an appealing topic for media and consumers alike.

We faced this dilemma while working with a Medicare Advantage company that wanted positive media attention of its organization and plan offerings during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Knowing that the topic of AEP was a tough sell at best, our team decided to come up with an event that would interest the media and secure more coverage than a standard morning show. In looking at the client’s sponsorships and the timing of AEP around Thanksgiving, we opted to start a competition-style event that would benefit local food banks while highlighting the client’s commitment to end senior hunger and support the community. Five years later, the Peoples Health Supermarket Sweep event has expanded to three Louisiana markets – New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette – and garnered hundreds of positive stories and millions of impressions for the organization.

So, how can you turn a snooze-story into a must watch for your brand? Below are some tips for generating ideas that turn into big wins.

Get weird. 

Map out every idea that comes to mind, and discuss it with your client. We would have never guessed that a childhood addiction to the Game Show Network would birth an idea that became one of our client’s signature marketing events, so don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.

Remember the end goal. 

Sometimes the hottest media topics aren’t the best fit for your client. Understand parameters and what your client wants to achieve. If the story isn’t a match, it’s not worth doing.

Be the consumer. 

Think about the stories and segments that have stuck with you and headlines that make you want to click. If you aren’t the intended audience for your client, poll friends, family and colleagues to get ideas about what might grab attention.

What tips and tricks do you have for story makeovers? Tweet us @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.

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