In order to get coverage in the media, it’s imperative to find the right angle for your concept story. What’s a concept story? Why is it important? How do you get the right angle for it? In this article, we cover the basics of a concept story, why it’s important for public relations, and how to go about finding the best angle for your story. Everyone knows that getting covered by the media is great for business. It helps to attract attention to your brand and gets your name out in front of a huge audients. However, while getting coverage may be good for business, actually attaining it can be quite challenging. That’s where a concept story comes in.
What’s a Concept Story and Why is It Important?
In the most basic terms, a concept story is a feature story that is specifically designed to target a certain audience and pique their interests. Essentially, a concept story is important information that you want to let the public know about. It pertains to your business and it contains valuable insight that the public would want to know about. For example, a concept story could be about a new store location that you are opening up, new products that you are offering, an important business merger, or anything else that your targeted audience would find notable and newsworthy.
Concept stories are important because they help to attract attention for your business. These stories let the general public know that your business or brand is relevant and progressing, and keeps your targeted demographic in the loop about the important ins and outs of what is going on with your establishment. In short, a concept story helps to attract more attention for your business, keeping current customers interested, and piquing the interest of new customers, too. To loosely summarize, a concept story helps you get media coverage, which helps to get your name out in front of a huge audience.
Finding a Great Angle for Your Concept Story
Finding the right angle for a concept story is key to actually getting coverage in the media. You see, media organizations are bombarded with thousands of stories each and every day. Most of those stories get put to the bottom of the pile or tossed. Why? – Because they don’t stand out. In order to actually garner the attention of the media, and in turn, get the attention of the public, you have to make your story stand out from the crowd. How can you do that? - By finding the right angle for your story.
Expert PR professionals can take a look at any organization and find aspects that will make excellent stories that the media will love and more importantly that the public will gobble up. As a business owner, however, finding aspects about your establishment might seem a bit trickier. That’s why it’s important that you learn how to examine your business from an outsider’s perspective. Doing so will help you find what areas of your business other people want to know about.
How can you, a business owner, find the right angle for a concept story that will get you great media coverage and attract tons of attention? Here are some tips to get you started on the right track.
Research, research, research
The first thing you want to do is research. Find out where they obtain their information from. Does your targeted audience rely mostly on the newspaper? Is social media their news outlet? Are trade journals or magazines more likely to be read by your audience?
Once you figure out what outlets the demographic you are trying to reach relies on the most for news and information, start digging a little deeper. Find out what types of stories they are interested in. What appeals to them. What sparks their curiosity. For example, if social media is the go-to source for news and information for your audience, find out what stories are getting the most likes, shares and comments. Try to spin those stories toward your own business.
Make Use of Surveys
It might seem tedious, but surveys can be a really useful tool for finding a great angle for your concept story. The media looks at quantitative data as accurate, notable and sharable. Go ahead and launch your own survey, or maybe even use the results of surveys that have already been conducted and relate to your industry. Either way, you’ll have a much easier time creating a strong, newsworthy story that will get you picked up by the media and attract the attention of your audience.
An important note: if you do launch your own survey, make sure that there will be enough respondents to make the information you gather from it useable.
Listen to your Audience
The goal of getting more business it to appeal to your clients and customers, so you want to make sure that you are actually listening to what they have to say.
Take the time to actually listen to your customers and clients – those you are already working with and those that you would like to work with, too. Are they asking a lot of the same questions? Do they want to have a specific need met? Do you notice any trending topics that people are talking about that relate to your business?
Use whatever it is that your audience is talking about and use it to your advantage. For example, if the public wants to find a product that makes something they are interested in plausible or easier and your business offers that product, use that as the angle for your concept story. You’ll be amazed by how much attention and interaction you will get when you are actually addressing what your targeted demographic is talking about.
Go with an Evergreen Angle
You’ve probably noticed that stories about the holidays seems to pop up around November and December every year, and articles about tax season are floating around everywhere each March. News publications are always on the lookout for stories that pertain to interests that relate to a specific times of the year, as they are relevant to readers; however, what editors need is stories that contain evergreen information.
In other words, they need stories that can be shared about the holidays every November and December, but that also have hooks and twists that are pertinent to their specific audience. “Top (insert number)” lists are always welcomed by editors; just make sure that they contain content that will remain useful, and that will really pique the interests of readers.
Know What Your PR Goals Are
Figure out what it is that you really want to accomplish through your publicity campaign. Do you want to increase sales? Boost the awareness of your business, your brand, or a specific product or service that you offer? Do you want to become known as a reliable expert in your industry?
By determining the goals that you want to achieve through your publicity efforts, you will have a much easier time trying to figure out what type of PR story to create – and what angle to take.
Put On Your Creativity Cap
Take the time to think about story and angle ideas. Do some brainstorming. What exactly is it about your brand or business that you think is important for the general public to know, and what do you think that they would want to know?
For example, if you have a new product or service that you think the public would like to know about, think about what angle to use to sell it. For instance, if it’s around the holiday season, is there any way that you can tie your product or service into the holidays? Would your customers benefit from that product or service during this specific time of the year, and if so, how?
Determine Your Exact Audience
You want to choose an angle for your concept story that will particularly appeal to your precise demographic. For example, if you are trying to target females between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, what type of angle can you take that will appeal specifically to that audience? Is there something that would really grab their attention? Is there something that would meet their specific needs? Try to determine what it is that will spark the interest of your precise demographic so that you can come up with an angle that will really appeal to their specific interests. If the story doesn’t appeal to your audience, it isn’t going to get picked up by the media, and even if it does, it probably isn’t going to garner the attention from your audience that you are hoping for.
Once you figure out a newsworthy topic and angle for your concept story, it’s time to start writing. Start with your outline first. Jot down all of your ideas and really start to hash them out. Make sure you include key details that apply to your angle, your demographic and the publications that you are planning on sending your story out to.
Use your outline as a guide to create your rough draft. Go over your draft several times, making sure that you highlight all key information. And of course, make sure that it’s written in an engaging, insightful manner. Go over your draft. Have someone else read it for you, too. It’s always a wise idea to have a fresh set of eyes go over your writing. Fresh eyes can give you better insight and can really give you an idea of how your story reads and how it will be received by the outlets you are sending it to, and your targeted audience, too.
After you complete your final copy, make sure that it is fully edited before you even think about sending it out. Media outlets will immediately pass over concept stories that are full of grammatical errors, run-on sentences and punctuation mistakes. You want to be taken seriously and seen as an expert. If your final copy isn’t up perfectly polished, you can bet dollars to donuts that you won’t be taken seriously.
When your final copy is finally written, it’s time to pitch it. Contact news outlets and publications that you really think will pick up your story and your targeted audience reads. Be friendly and courteous. Make sure the subject line of your email is really eye-catching and that it will grab the attention of the person you are sending it to. Make sure you have a hook in your email, too. You want to let your contact know what’s so interesting and newsworthy about your store; in other words, you want to let them know why they should publish it.
You might want to avoid including your story with the email. Instead, pitch your idea and wait for a response to let you know that they are interested in the story. If they are, send it along, but within the body of the email; never as an attachment. If you are going to send your story right away, don’t send it as an attachment either; send it in the email itself. Editors aren’t going to want to run the risk of opening attachments from people that they don’t know.
By choosing a great topic and the right angle for your concept story, you could successfully get the media coverage that you are looking for and achieve your public relations goals.