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Making Your Story Stick in a Busy News Cycle

Making Your Story Stick in a Busy News Cycle

Between the College World Series and the Olympic Swim Trials, June is an exciting time to be in Omaha. The local networks, the newspapers and the radio stations will soon be filled with great stories about fans and athletes, and social media feeds will be populated with photos from the events.

There has also been some somber local and national news this month on which everyone is deeply focused. And, because it’s an election year, there’s the political circus playing out all over the media – can’t watch it, can’t look away.

With all of the above (the good, the bad and the absurd), it may be difficult to encourage your audience to pay attention to your stories: whether you’re trying to get a traditional media outlet to cover something, or you want to make a particular point through social media. Here are a few things you can do to ensure that your message doesn’t get lost in the fray while everyone is busy paying attention to something else:

  • Do something newsworthy: There is enough news out there that an evergreen story is just going to wind up being filed – or, worse yet, in the circular file. Similarly, a generic post on social media will be lucky to get engagement with your mom. Instead, use this time to promote something that is happening right now: whether that’s a special sale or promotion, staffing announcement, or new service. If you don’t have anything, better to sit this month out, at least for traditional media. For social, go ahead and keep posting, just save most of your resources for a time when you have more newsy news.
  • Consider paid: If you do have something great to talk about but you’re afraid it will be buried, this might be the time to use any paid content dollars you’ve budgeted. For traditional media, it could be a show like Morning Blend, or a paid special section in the newspaper. For social, it’s sponsored posts.
  • Hijack the conversation: If everyone’s talking about the College World Series, then maybe you should be, too. If you have the money, a sponsorship will certainly get you plenty of attention (if you’re lucky, you could see your brand in the daily news coverage), or you may be able to nail that perfect earned media story. For social, talk about the games, take pictures and video when you or your employees are there, and take advantage of hashtags.
  • Keep up your relationships: When journalists are busy (which is pretty much always), they’re not going to pay much attention to some random news item from a stranger. But if they know and have a professional relationship with the person who sent it, they may at least take a look. Similarly, no one is going to take a break from hating on Hillary or dumping Trump to read a post from a random organization or person. But if they’ve come to rely on you for consistent, quality, useful content, they might.

All of the above can apply to any time when news or major events are consuming the media – and the public’s — attention. Feel free to keep them in your back pocket for Husker season!