19. News Tools (viii): Targeting specific journalists
Your story could be given an angle to appeal to a number of different people in the media. For example:
- News Editor
- Pictures Editor
- Business Editor
- Small Business Editor
- Education Editor
- Careers Editor
- Womens Editor
- Fashion Editor
- Features Editor
- Freelance journalists
You will need to change the structure of your message according to the level of interest and perspective of each group you are targeting.
Ask yourself “Is this news to them?”. If it is not, restructure the story so that it is. This might mean that a number of variations of the story will be needed to appeal to the different groups you are trying to interest.
Three questions, similar to those involved in drafting the release, should help you to target your media efforts:
|What do you want to say?
||You must be able to sum this up in less than a dozen words.|
|What do you hope to achieve by saying it?
||Look at your objectives and messages.|
|Who do you want to say it to?
||Check you media channels and audience.|
Whatever the story, you will need to be able to help the journalist see its potential for their media. For example, consider whether it has televisual appeal, or are there audio advantages for radio coverage, or perhaps it would make a good photo-story for a picture editor.
These considerations can make all the difference for stories which are not of major news importance.