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October 22, 2019

Trends, Hijacks, Forums – How to make your story a door opener for journalists

“Not interested!” Short and to the point, it resounds through the telephone receiver. Everyone who has ever tried their hand at PR knows this situation. Opening the closed door to the editorial office again with the planned PR story is a major challenge – even for communications professionals. What many fail at: the news. Even the most beautiful text, fails: because editors shy away from unimportant topics like a cat from water. So the task is to offer a real news story and thus a really exciting topic. Here you can learn how to convince journalists with relevant ideas.

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Tip 1: Identify trends and find the key with keywords

What does Google know? Everything! For example, it also knows which topics are currently boiling over in the digital rumor mill. With Google Trends, you have a key to opening closed editorial doors again. In just a few clicks, you can find out what the world is really interested in. Enter your company’s dominant focus or keywords as a topic here and let Google do the work for you. Under “Related topics” and “Similar search queries” you will find inspiration for future press releases, interviews and technical articles. Journalists also make use of such search engines. Ideally, their stories should also inspire the masses and generate clicks.

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Tip 2: News Hijacks – Door is open – but only briefly!

“Cyber attack on the smartphone of the German Chancellor”, a headline that would cause a sensation. This story is twice as exciting if your customer wants to play in the big league in terms of cyber security. This is where a “news hijack” comes in handy. But: since this usually involves news that is updated daily and to which your company can refer – if there is a suitable news item – you have to be quick. The door into the holy halls of the editorial offices is only open for a short time! Google helps here, too, with its popular alerts. If a selected keyword appears in the vastness of the Internet, Google sends a notification by e-mail. This way you are always informed about current events and have the chance to react on the PR side.

Tip 3: Forum posts – via the secret door to the editor

Forums are so 90s – you might think! Around the first walking attempts of the Internet, interactive advice portals mushroomed. What is left of them today? Quite a lot! For almost every topic, there are still a large number of active users who want to exchange information or are looking for help. Here PR professionals invest a lot of time in research and yet the output is enormous. After all, here you always know exactly which topics belong to the evergreens, especially in the advice segment. Bonus: You should also thoroughly check reader comments under related articles. They also provide you with inspiration to open the secret door to the editor.

Found a door opener to the journalist – and now: be flexible!

Forget about ready-made press releases, formulated technical articles and lengthy coordination loops. If you want to open the editorial door, you must not waste any time. So be faster, more effective and approach the editors, or even better: the appropriate (!) editor, with your topic proposal via abstract. Headline, sub-headlines and short key points are sufficient. Discuss everything else with the journalist if he or she has any comments. The same applies to interviews. Briefly outline the PR story and what you as a company can talk about, and don’t bore the editor with long-winded text deserts. And: In both cases, you can also agree on exclusivity and thus offer the journalist opportunities to work flexibly with your idea. Opening editorial doors is not witchcraft. Make it as easy as possible for you and the media makers. Then you’ll get together and find open ears – and doors.

 

 

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Tommy Dobs
Teamleiter bei Mashup Communications
Tommy hat ein Herz für Nerds, denn er ist selbst einer! Mit seiner IT-Expertise sind bei ihm Techie-Themen bestens aufgehoben. Ob Cloud-Service oder Messenger – bei ihm ist alles verschlüsselt.