The 21 Storylines Even The Most Cynical Media Will Love (part one)

By Thomas Murrell MBA, CSP - International Business Speaker

Getting media coverage is becoming more and more challenging.

Journalists, reporters and editors are being bombarded with more and more information.

In the past a reporter got story ideas, contacts and information from traditional community sources. Meeting with the local policeman, having lunch with business leaders or having a beverage with the local mayor.

These days the media are time poor and never have time to get out of the office to meet real people. They increasingly rely on prepared press releases.

So how can you cut through this and in particular the "so what who cares" line?

Here are the first seven of what I call The 21 Storylines Even The Most Cynical Media Will Love:

1. First of a kind

How can your business, product or achievement be in the first of its kind category? People who fit this mould include Tiger Woods, first Asian-black American to win a major golf title or Condoleezza Rice, first black female to became US Secretary of State on January 26, 2005

2. Talent wins out

This is the classic "the cream always rises to the top" category. Jennifer Lopez is a good global example. If you are Australian who can forget swimmer Kieren Perkins and his gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games after just qualifying for the final of the mens 1500 metres.

3. Success/adversity/success

All media, including block busting Hollywood movies love this narrative.

Some classics include Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, and Australia's own billionaire businessman Kerry Stokes. A real rags to riches story who was an orphan and his first job was selling TV antennas.

4. The fatal flaw

Bill Clinton & sex is a classic. So is Mel Gibson and alcohol. The media love this because it exposes the human frailty in us all. Probably best avoided.

5. Restrained from greatness

Can anyone remember who the fifth Beatle or the fifth Wiggle was? These people never quite made it and the media love the trivia of the story and the irony.

By the way keyboardist Billy Preston was often called the fifth Beatle.

"After the Wiggles were named Australia's richest entertainers, with $45 million in earnings last year, the curious case of Sydney's "fifth Wiggle" seemed reminiscent of the misfortunes of Pete Best, the "fifth Beatle" who famously departed the Beatles before they became the biggest band in the world," is a great quote.

This is how the media recently reported on former Wiggle, Phillip Wilcher.

"He left the Wiggles before they hit the big time, but now Phillip Wilcher wants to get rid of the tag "Fifth Wiggle" for good.

The classical musician, who lives in Sydney, is selling off personal memorabilia from his early days with the Wiggles - bitterly claiming he wouldn't want to be part of the band anyway, despite their millions."

6. A great rivalry

The media love conflict. It can be people, sporting teams or even products. The battle between Coke & Pepsi for example.

7. Mum or Dad's footsteps

George W. Bush in the US is a great current example. So is young media baron, James Packer in Australia. Is it genetic memory, talent or nepotism?

If you frame your message within these storylines you are more likely to engage with the media.

The next seven will be in the next edition.

Want more help? Book here for the media skills seminar in Perth on Tuesday November 28th