Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are you bleeding?

Like all businesses – and news reporting is a business – media outlets have a product to sell. Naïve media marketers labor under the misunderstanding the media is only concerned with reporting news, not so.

Journalism is an entertainment industry. The more provocative and compelling the stories, the more readers, viewers and listeners they attract and the more advertising dollars they generate. With this is mind, it’s easy to see why news programs lead with the most provocative “teasers” and newspapers print the most tantalizing headlines they can conceive. In the media world, the adage “if it bleeds, it leads” is more than a catch phrase, it’s a goal.

This fixation with the provocative stems from the intense competition in the industry, which has quadrupled in recent years. Today business related stories, if they get any coverage at all, are relegated to low readership specialty sections, trade publications, business journals and early morning broadcasts.

Although any exposure is better than none, the larger audiences of mainstream newspapers and prime time news programs are vastly preferable. And with a little creativity and imagination you too can exploit the media’s desire to titillate, regardless of your product or service.

However, your story must be “packaged” in such a way reporters and producers can see the potential for attracting an audience.

All news has a story, yet all stories are not news. What’s story is your product or service keeping hidden but waiting to tell? How does it improve the lives of others or change the way people think or feel? Discover the story behind what your product or service’s does and the media will beat a path to your door to help you tell it!

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