The Australian Small Business Blog

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Where’s the angle…?

Getting articles into the paper is not easy. It takes a lot of research and a lot of relationship building with journalists and media to gain trust.

Strategies can be developed to ensure that all PR activities are carried out with marketing campaigns,

Many small businesses think that the media will be interested in their new product or that they have a story to tell which is guaranteed to get published.

The sad fact of the matter is that what’s news to a small business may not be news to the journalist or editor of the publication.

Possibly the most important word that a journalist or editor mutters is ‘where’s the angle?”

Put briefly, an angle is a different perspective of looking at things. It is not ‘spin’ nor is it a case of embellishing or exaggerating the facts. It is simply a different outlook or slant on a story.

For example, take the Australian soccer team as a fictional starting point.

The vast majority of players are based in Europe yet the Australian soccer team travel back to Sydney to play a game against New Zealand

How many stories could be developed from this simple fact?

Some examples include:

· Jet lag – Given the flight, how do players cope with the jet lag? How are their preparations affected?
· Family – Do the player take their family with them on overseas trips? What is the impact on a sportsman’s family life when overseas travel is concerned?
· Clubs – As the majority of players are based in Europe, what is the impact on their respective clubs? What is the financial impact when the star players are missing?
· Australia – How is soccer being perceived in Australia? Is it improving? Where do people see the long-term game when compared to Australian Rules?
· Financial – Do the players receive win bonuses for international games? What is the financial impact of Australia playing at home?

For many companies, finding suitable stories can be hard and time consuming.

The rule of thumb is if you’ve got something to say, ask yourself is it news. If it isn’t news, why should the media pay attention?

Dealing with the media can be tough and challenging, but play by their rules and listen to what they require and relationships can flourish.

Developing story ideas takes time, research and a lot of dedication. PR is best treated as a marketing component. If marketing is about trial and error, then PR should be treated as such.

The benefits of a good, well thought out PR campaign can bring many benefits. If you could ‘market’ your product in a daily newspaper to over 250 thousand people, the benefits can be endless.

Stuart Evans is the Director of Vibe Communications

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