It's the Little Details that Can Make or Break a News Story
By Carolyn Moncel
Have you ever heard of the saying, "One person's trash is another
person's treasure?" Well, that statement is a true one, but
never more so than in the realm of media relations where so many
small-business owners find it so difficult to garner media coverage
for themselves or their companies. Allow me to illustrate my point
below in an actual incident that happened to one of my clients and
the lessons we learned from this experience.
One day a new client approached me about getting media coverage
for her company. She had tried writing and submitting press releases
on her own but with little luck and decided that it was time to
contact a media relations company. We made an appointment to meet
and we discussed her business and brainstormed about ways in which
to secure coverage in a creative and affordable way.
During that meeting and subsequent other ones, I became very familiar
with her business and learned why she was so successful. But it
was in a casual conversation, which had little to do with her business,
that I learned about the information that would allow me to secure
news coverage for my new client.
This particular client is a visual arts designer and runs a very
successful business in the Midwest, but her one true passion since
childhood is gymnastics. She participated in the sport as a child.
She still follows the sport on television and even incorporates
the sport into the name of her company. I learned that she liked
to have people take photographs of her performing handstands near
historic structures, and that she had done this all around the country.
It was through that conversation that I learned that she even had
a photo taken of her performing a handstand just outside of the
World Trade Center several years ago. I asked her why she hadn't
shared this information with me earlier and she said, "It was
such a little thing that I really didn't think it was very important."
In reality, it was that little-known fact that sealed the deal for
local newspaper coverage. When I spoke with the reporter, I was
able to strategically mention this "little" fact to the
reporter and explain that I could supply the actual photo. It mattered
less to the reporter that this client was a self-published author
and ran a successful business. While all of that information was
great, it was the World Trade Center photo that peaked the reporter's
In the end, instead of receiving a small blurb in the newspaper,
which was what we really expected, she in turn got a front-page
story complete with her photo and references to both her business
and her love for gymnastics. Plus, this was a very affordable decision
because the client could never have afforded an advertisement the
size of that article generated.
The point that I'm trying to make is this. Sometimes small-business
owners need to depend on the services of communication companies
in order to secure media coverage. But whether you are dealing with
a big agency or a boutique agency or a freelancer, it's always important
to share every detail because sometimes it's the little details,
which can make or break a story.
Carolyn Davenport-Moncel is president and founder of Mondave Communications,
a global marketing and communications firm based in Chicago and
Paris, and a subsidiary of MotionTemps, LLC. Contact her at email@example.com
or by phone in the United States at 877.815.0167 or 011.331.4997.9059
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