If you're looking to ensure media coverage of your story, look no further than the images reporters and photographers will use when they cover your event. As we at Mack Communications have often said, a picture is worth not a thousand words; it's worth 10,000.
To understand why, consider your own viewing and reading habits. We are all drawn to compelling images. They can help us understand issues. They help capture the emotions of a moment. They simplify what may otherwise be complex. They often get us to click on the accompanying story.
The debt debate in Washington and the financial meltdown on Wall Street have been giving just about everyone jitters. And yet, what most of us see as "bad news" becomes good news to the 24-hour news channels and talk radio. The news media are thrilled to have another crisis to talk about, politicians offer no shortage of pithy sound bites and columnists and analysts tell us who's to blame.
So, what's the problem? Nothing, unless you had a news conference scheduled the same day the Dow Jones Industrial average takes a nose dive. It's almost impossible to compete with a story of such magnitude, one that affects so many lives and pocketbooks. So, can you plan around such events?
A new survey of how journalists use social media and other new media provides a wealth of information for anyone involved in media relations and public relations.
Among the highlights of the suvey by Middleberg Communications: 69% of the 200 journalists questioned use Twitter, 75% are on Facebook, 78% say they make use of company websites and 54% say they use online video.
This is extremely important for anyone trying to persuade the media to cover their story. Why?
If you hold a press conference and no one from the media attends, will it still make news? The short answer is: maybe. How can that be you might ask?
In this climate of smaller news rooms and fewer reporters, some media outlets have a hard time deciding which stories to cover. There are no-brainers, like a major announcement from the mayor, but other events are more subjective.
Your press conference simply might not be able to compete with the other stories vying for coverage on any given day. But that doesn't mean it can't make news. There are four things you can do to improve your chances of getting coverage:
"Nobody in the media pays attention to us." That might be your assessment of how difficult it is to get any news coverage of your company or organization.
Time to think outside the press release. If you haven't already, consider some unconventional ways to generate media interest. Here are three ideas: