The chasm between your company story and the journalists that are going to care about said story is wide. So wide, in fact, that to make the leap across you must fundamentally understand what you are asking them to do. More than that, you must understand who they are.
Have you ever tried to build a following of your own around content? Meaning, created a point of view, continually written about it in an eloquent and controversial way, generated conversation around it, and then convinced your audience to “buy” whatever you are selling?
If you have, then you understand that writing stories and connecting dots for your audience is fundamentally about you. It’s about your experience, your knowledge, your mistakes, and your passions. As writer Amanda Palmer eloquently reflects:
“We can only connect the dots that we collect, which makes everything you write about you. Your connections are the thread that you weave into the cloth that becomes the story that only you can tell.”
Bearing this in mind, let’s talk about what you – a startup founder, a PR pro, a communications person – are asking for when you ask a person from the media (particularly top tier media) to push your story out to their audience: their trusted following who they have likely spent years building…yes, often under a large organizational umbrella, but mostly by their own chutzpa to unearth those gems of stories to entertain, educate, and engage their constituents.
You are asking them to take a personal bet that YOUR story, YOUR product, YOUR fill in the blank is so darn interesting that it will make them look like a hero, a first mover, a trendsetter, a breaking news deliverer, or just down right, flat out smart. Really smart. Beyond that, you are asking them to take a personal interest, which enables them to connect the dots between past experiences to tell your story in a more compelling way.
It’s that simple. And we must respect it. (more…)