Every week, if not every day, clients inevitably tell us that their most coveted desire for media coverage is to be in Fast Company and The New York Times’ “Corner Office” column. We wholeheartedly agree! Yet there’s so much more to placing that proverbial “story” than meets the eye, so to speak.
To get into a top-tier publication like Fast Company, one must be, do, have or talk the innovative walk to meet the desires of the magazine’s readers for under-the-radar information not found elsewhere. The Times’ “Corner Office” and other executive columns of this type require compelling personalized accounts of successful career strategies or business lessons learned that the column’s readers can use to improve their own efforts.
Coming up with that unique point-of-view or learning oftentimes requires digging around in and re-packaging existing experience in a fresh and creative way that fits a reporter’s, producer’s or specific column’s format. What does this mean? While most CEOs and entrepreneurs have encountered the usual challenges (say, the need to develop a leadership style or an effective negotiation strategy), it’s the personal details and specific anecdotal examples that make a story resonate with the audience.
To that end, here are three tips for developing an inner Media Darling:
1. Think about the 5 Ws: Examine the who, what, when where, why (and How) of your existing experience, knowledge and business information. Assemble the facts and develop unique (dare we say provocative) anecdotes about challenges faced or reasons for innovation. Then compare it to what’s currently in the press. How does it sound? The same? Different?
2. Personality Please: Give your story character and always reveal personality through the use of lively and entertaining language in your own voice. It gives your story credibility, depth and sincerity. Whether writing an article or giving a telephone interview, this is critical to giving your story life.
3. Deliver the Goods: The client in this situation is the media outlet and its audience – the readers or viewers. Sell the story, not the company. Breakthrough takeaways are necessary to score the premium real estate.