The art of storytelling sometimes gets lost in the day-to-day chaos of managing projects for clients, meeting deadlines, managing people not to mention the many distractions now available on the internet. The other night I was “tweeting” during #journchat and someone tweeted that they appreciated reporters who helped them when they had to “pitch a weak story.” My immediate response to that was NEVER pitch a weak story! That is rule #1 in my firm. If a client has a story they want told, it has to pass our test which is simple (I love simplicity by the way). If a client cannot fully answer these questions, we tell our clients “no” when pitching stories:
· Does this information appeal to the masses?
· Why would someone care about this information?
· Is it relevant (to the market, audience, etc)?
· Does it have multiple “hooks” of interest?
· Is it totally self-serving?
· Is it a “one-off” (stand alone piece of information that won’t go anywhere else)
Bottom line is if I cannot—with confidence and passion—sell a pitch to a reporter, I won’t do it. Sometimes this means the client gets upset but once I explain these two points, they calm down: 1. My credibility is on the line as your PR person and I cannot pitch what I cannot buy and 2. Pitching a weak story (even IF a reporter would write about it) can decrease your chances of getting a more important story later. Save your bullets for when you need them!
Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC
408 S. Front Street, Loft 104
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 521-1453 office
(901) 351-7186 cell