Have you ever read a roundup your company would have been perfect for? Or watched an expert share her take on breaking news, when you have an expert with even cooler things to say?
It doesn’t feel good. Like that time you passed on grabbing ice cream with your friends and they ended up seeing Ed Sheeran out walking his dog.
I don’t recommend letting FOMO guide your personal or career choices. But there are some things you can do to stop missing out on awesome newshooks.
Tying into breaking news can be challenging because it’s difficult to anticipate and most of the time your client or org can’t move that fast. Instead, try predicting in advance what the media will be interested in and when. This allows you to get your ducks in a row and plan the most effective and creative ways to tie in your org. Here’s how to start:
Create your own editorial calendar for the next thirty days. Map out everything you can think of that’s newsworthy, whether or not it’s related to your client. This can include economic reports coming out, celebrity death anniversaries, sporting events, upcoming movies, etc. You can get a good sense for what will be covered by noting what’s been covered before. The AP’s “10 Things You Need to Know Today” shows you what the Associated Press thinks is newsworthy.
As you read the news, note which time elements are working in your market, among your competitors and around your topics, and add those to your calendar.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy (a simple Google Sheet will do), but it does need to be kept up to date and reviewed often.
Now that you’ve mapped out what you anticipate the news will be in the coming month, brainstorm how you can use that to your advantage.
A secret I’ve discovered is the power of flipping your mindset from “How can I relate this to my client?” to “What will reporters want to talk about?”
When we try to relate what we have to a news story, it’s often like squishing a square peg into a round hole. That’s how we end up with pitches that feel tone deaf or forced.
But if you think about what a journalist will want to write, and the sources, data and graphics they’ll need, you’ll likely find some overlap in what you have to offer. Maybe you don’t have an economics professor to comment on the latest jobs report, but you know someone who “opted out” of the workforce and can share their experience.
When you create a system to anticipate the news, and spend time thoughtfully brainstorming what you can offer journalists covering that news, you’ll find a big increase in your placements. And a big decrease in your FOMO.
This article was originally published on May 11, 2022
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