Tailor-Made Stories

blogpic_katieStories about veterans who played a major part in World War II or couples who have been married for 70+ years are fabulous stories that general newspapers and TV stations will find attractive. However, sometimes it’s fun to change things up and target a publication or media outlet that will reach a new audience, but is a little more challenging to get coverage in.

Maybe these publications are challenging because they only cover specific types of stories or want exclusive pieces. If it’s a renowned paper in the area or industry, it just might be worth crafting something different to grab their attention. You want a placement in the local lifestyles magazine? Well, sometimes you have to tailor-make a story for a publication.

Instead of creating a general story that anyone would be interested in, figure out what publications your target audience reads and then determine what types of articles they typically cover. For instance, if you are trying to get noticed in the business world, modify your grand opening release by tailoring the story to the economic impact the new community will have. How many jobs will it bring to the area? Or if you are modifying your story for a senior living-specific publication, focus on the architectural design trends the new community is utilizing or how the design impacts those who are caring for the residents in health care units.

Maybe there is a neighborhood publication that you want coverage in, but it only focuses on fun events or stories related to the area. Recently, we had a conundrum like this pop up. Our solution was to create a feature story on the community’s executive director’s dog.

Yes, you read that right. Everyone loves man’s best friend and this angle brought in the human interest element we needed.  Having the dog come to the executive director’s office brought in the geographic, neighborhood-specific element we needed. It turned into a very cute story about how this canine has left his paw print on the hearts of the senior living community—and in turn, the entire neighborhood.

So, sometimes story ideas are obvious and perfect for sharing with the general media. But other times, you have to fashion a story around a specific publication or writer you have in mind, especially if it is a good placement that will reach a targeted group of people. Both approaches will put your community in the spotlight. I think we can all learn a lesson or two from our now-famous dog friend – sometimes you have to dig a little for the perfect angle.

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