The Story The Media Really Wants

If you're like most of my clients, you're probably interested in getting the media to cover the success of your business. These "business success stories" can be used for future marketing efforts -- including reprints of the story in your marketing materials or on your Web site, or framing the article and hanging it in your office.

Well, I'm all for that, of course.

But ... did you know that the media is often more interested in the story behind the story -- not necessarily a standard business profile?

What do I mean by the "story behind the story"?

Sometimes it means the reason why you started the business in the first place. Often, this is more interesting to the media's audience than the business itself. For example, my client, Christine King of Get Fit! Functional Fitness Studios, was the subject of a Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Sunday Fitness Profile, not so much because she was the owner of a fitness studio, but because she was in an accident years ago that left her temporarily paralyzed, and she used functional fitness moves to rehabilitate herself. This led her to leave her corporate job and start a functional fitness studio.

Another "story behind the story" might be a major event that catapulted your business to incredible success. Some magazines, such as Fortune Small Business, have a regular feature on that subject. Local newspapers also often run these types of articles. For instance, client Lori Karmel of We Take the Cake was featured in a recent Monday South Florida Sun-Sentinel Small Business Profile in the Business Section. The main theme of the story was how her appearance on last November's Oprah Winfrey Show, in which she was featured offering one of Oprah's Favorite Things (the company's Key Lime Bundt Cake), helped We Take the Cake's sales skyrocket.

Another type of "story behind the story" is how you or your company helped another company become successful. This was the subject of a recent "Case Study" feature for client Bob Garner in the Wall Street Journal. A client of Bob's told how Bob's trade show presentation had increased the client's trade show ROI significantly.

If you're wondering if these types of stories are as effective as pure business profiles, the answer is a resounding YES! Here's why:

1. These stories are often more interesting to readers and viewers, so the audience understands more of the story about you, which leads to better retention of your company's products and/or services.

2. These stories often incorporate a great deal of your company information, often in a very flattering way.

3. These stories show a different side of you and your business that is often hard to describe to others.

So if the media is interested in the "story behind the story", eagerly embrace the idea. It may very well lead to your best, and most effective, publicity coverage ever!

Copyright 2005 Margie Fisher All Rights Reserved

Margie Fisher is President of Margie Fisher Public Relations. She is also the author of the Do-It-Yourself Public Relations Kit?. To sign up for her free biweekly PRactical P.R. newsletter, and to see more free articles, visit http://www.margiefisher.com

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