If you don’t think you have a story to tell… you actually probably do.
A few weeks ago, I attended an event run by Thrive Women all around ‘Raising your profile in the media.’ The event had a fantastic panel of speakers from the world of journalism – Jodie Hill from Thrive Law, Christa Ackroyd – former BBC Look North Presenter, Camilla Mankabady – former BBC/ITN Editor and Lizzie Murphy – Business journalist from The Yorkshire Post. I was particularly keen to see Christa, as a Yorkshire born and bred journalist who has actually remained in Yorkshire!
As I networked with some fantastic ladies at the start of the afternoon, with a prosecco in hand, I knew I was going to get a lot out of it (in addition to the fizz!) Being in the PR business ourselves, it is often easy to overlook opportunities like this… as profile raising is part and parcel of what we do. But I definitely took some real key learnings from the panel which included:
‘How much of you are you prepared to give?’ Christa Ackroyd gave some really interesting advice regarding the more human side of the media and how we can portray ourselves in the press. Often people want their stories to be told but aren’t willing to give the full story. You need to be willing to really give your all, and remember that once you have given it, it is there for the rest of your life in print.
Lizzy Murphy commented that ‘Everyone has a story that can be turned into a column, programme or profile piece’ It is about finding the angle and finding the story behind it. She is particularly interested in what makes a business person tick and what the stories are behind them. You might not have something to announce right now, but everyone has a back story! Her advice to get a journalist to buy into your story is to really do your research on what that particular journalist and outlet covers and what the opportunities are to feature in it.
One thing we always speak to our clients about is having a distinctive story to tell. Camilla Mankabady backed that up with the advice that ‘Stories need to be distinctive and full of integrity’. She, along with most other journalists, are keen to understand what is going on at grassroots level. She doesn’t need the full detail of everything written out, she wants the contacts to the best people who have an interesting and compelling story to tell.
All in all, I came away with more ideas about what makes a good ‘story’ and how to bring it to life in the media, both for ourselves as a business and for our clients. It was a really inspiring and thought-provoking session, with a real focus on women. As Lizzy also said ‘There are lots of hugely inspiring women at the top of their profession in Yorkshire but we don’t hear about them as often as men because many women are not as keen to shine a spotlight on themselves.’