How to turn your business media release from ‘Blah’ to ‘Can I have the exclusive?’

By Monica Rosenfeld

The media love running stories about entrepreneurs.  Why?  Because journalists care about writing content that engages or adds value to their audience and there is nothing that entrepreneurs love better than reading about and learning from other entrepreneurs.

What this means for you if you are an entrepreneur is that you have a very good chance of having your story publicised by the Australian media.  You just need to know how to go about pitching your story in such a way that it’s impossible to turn down.

Many people pitching their business story to the media make a classic mistake.  That is, they fill the release with news about their wonderful growth and ambitious future projections and other great achievements they have accumulated.  Why is this a problem, you may ask?  What this sort of information lacks is a connection to a human interest angle and it’s this sort of angle that makes the story interesting.

For example, our client Drive Yello is a start up in the sharing economy space, doing fantastic things and going from strength to strength.  However when pitching the story to business journalists, we didn’t make this the main focus of our release.  What we focused on was the story behind Drive Yello, how two mates where having a drink one Halloween night when one of them was struck with a problem.  He was the owner of several Crust Pizza Franchises and his drivers were calling in sick.  Being Halloween (most likely the reason for the sickies) he struggled to find alternative delivery drivers.  In frustration, Johnny and his mate Steve asked themselves the question, why isn’t there an app for hospitality and restaurant businesses that makes use of regular drivers such as the way Uber does to deliver food direct to consumers.  Like all great entrepreneurs they decided to create this very app which not only provided restaurants with a plethora of drivers as and when they needed them but with software to manage the whole process.

The media loved this story.  Two mates, having a drink, experiencing a problem and solving that problem.  This was a far more interesting hook than how much they’d increased their revenue month on month.

People are voyeurs, we want to know what makes people tick.  We want to feel inspired, we want to hear about interesting and quirky stories, brave leaps that people have taken and sliding doors moments that have led people to transform their lives.  This is the stuff of interesting media releases and this is what grabs the attention of journalists who want to provide engaging content.

Some questions to ask yourself before drafing your business release would be:

  1. What inspired me to start my business? What’s the back story?  What were you doing beforehand?
  2. Why am I running this business? Who is inspiring me?  What is my why?
  3. What has been my biggest challenge?
  4. How am I overcoming those challenges?
  5. What’s been the most significant ingredient to the success I’ve had to date?
  6. How is my business growing in terms of revenue, wins etc.

Most people disregard questions 1 to 5 and jump straight to 6.  This is where they fall over and lose the potential of exposure that will help them increase the credibility and trust of their brand.

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