New Year comes along sooner than we think and it’s the most popular time of year for people to think about improving their health. Therefore, most stories in January are focused on health and fitness with PR clients wanting to promote a new health brand or product. But how can you make your well-being story stand out from others and make broadcasters want to take note?
Most employees at Shout! Communications have a national or regional broadcast background and understand the types of things broadcasters look out for. And here’s a few of them:
Stories get recycled every year so don’t fall into this category and use one that has already been done before or something of a similar nature. Be bold and go for a new story that will grab broadcasters’ attention. Think whether you would talk about it with your friends in the pub- that’s always a good guide for deciding whether or not a story idea is worthwhile.
You should brainstorm your ideas in your team and note them all down, and between yourselves you can condense them into a plan of action, including the research questions you think would bring out the best story headlines, the ideal spokespeople, and which broadcasters are most likely to take your story. Remember it is a team effort and the best ideas come when you bounce them off each other.
Having case studies to offer up for interview can be the reason some broadcasters would be interested in your story, particularly BBCs. Health stories can often be about real life problems so having a case study will add that human element that will enable listeners to relate to and engage with the interview. You should always inform broadcasters where the case study is from, as this will encourage regional broadcasters to use the story as it has a local angle to it. A lot of local stations, including the local BBCs will refuse any story that does not have a link to its area.
Don’t forget about men
A lot of health stories, particularly to do with diet, eating well and looking good are focused on women but remember this could alienate half of the audience, even male broadcasters. Try and incorporate men in some way. For instance if you’re doing a make-up story and coming up with research questions, you could ask the question about whether your partner prefers your new make-up technique, or likes you better with/ without make-up or even ask whether your partner uses any of your female beauty products . This could bring out some interesting and shocking angles that would make your story stand out. Obviously, with these types of stories it is not always possible to incorporate men, in which case as long as you have a good, new story with an interesting but relatable spokesperson and sell it well then you should get good coverage.
If it’s new, try and get reporters to try it out for themselves
For unknown brands or products, incorporating the reporter in some way can make your health story more attractive and add the human element that makes people listening relate to the brand or product in question, especially if you don’t have any case studies up for interview or if they are not relevant. For example, if your story is about a new kind of exercise machine then for TV particularly you could suggest that the reporter comes and tries it out for themselves. This would work well in TV if you are struggling to think of pictures broadcasters would use to go with your idea. It would also make the results and feedback from the reporter trustworthy for the viewers (as long as you are confident they will be positive). Make sure you give the story to the reporter well in advance to ensure they enough time to be able to trial and film or record the results.
Pitch your story earlier than others
With health stories in the new year one of the most important things is to pitch your story early because lots of other PRs will also be pushing their health stories to broadcasters in January. If you’re planning a Radio Day, make sure it is in the first few days of January to beat your competitors. The more health stories broadcasters hear, the less interested they will become.
Good luck with your January stories! Give us a Shout! on 0207 240 9980 if you need any more advice, we’re always happy to help!
Alternatively download our media relations guide.