Want a Public Relations Win? Get Your Story Straight!

May 1, 2024Events

If you’re new to public relations and media relations, don’t be surprised if you fall victim to a common misconception: that your story is ready for the limelight, and the PR firm can simply take it and run with it. The truth is more nuanced. 

A successful PR engagement requires a thoughtful strategy and creative storytelling. Before we send a single pitch to a busy reporter’s inbox, we have to tackle one critical step: refining our client’s story and preparing it for the public. 

This process is crucial for ensuring that your narrative will resonate with the media and the audience you aim to attract.


Exploring Your Purpose

Most executives come to us wanting to promote a traditional business story that may not align with a journalist’s topical expertise or a media outlet’s publication focus. At Goodwin Consulting, my team bridges this gap by doing a deep dive into your organization’s values, people, and culture

What does your business do—and why? Who are your competitors? What is the most gratifying thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? We ask a long list of varied questions to find out how you and your team act and think, looking for a unique approach to your story and defining its significance to an audience. 

Next, we explore how your customers or clients perceive your organization. Story building demands that we get to the heart of what your target market values most, which sometimes means engaging directly with your clientele. Getting to know you through the eyes of your buyers enables us to hone in on the storytelling styles and publication platforms that will resonate most effectively. 

The more we know, the better equipped we become to turn even dry corporate communications into compelling stories that people care about.


Refining Your Story

Once we understand your organization, we move on to one simple question: What story are we telling?

You may have the most sterile message any business has ever brought to the Goodwin team, but by showcasing the human side of your business, we can not only capture an audience’s attention but also endear them to your brand.

This is where the magic happens—where we unearth the hidden gems within your company’s ecosystem. Perhaps it’s an employee with an unexpected talent or a unique company tradition; maybe it’s a moving back story or a change-making decision. 

You might be surprised to learn that these decidedly unbusinesslike elements add the context that makes a corporate story broadly relatable and engaging. 


Pitching to Publishers

Now it’s time to align your story with what interests journalists and attracts their primary readership. 

Media relations isn’t limited to knowing the top reporters or having a direct line to an influential editor. High-impact media outlets got that way by being choosy with their stories, so we need to deliver a pitch that will grab their attention. 

These are a few of the types of pitches journalists tend to pick up: 

  • A story they haven’t seen or covered before
  • An innovative take on a familiar theme
  • A concept for a multi-part series that will draw returning readers

Your story might not fit those themes yet, but that’s why you have us! Your PR engagement with Goodwin is designed to identify the right story for the right reporter and the right publication. We look at the current media landscape and at the stories that are making waves, and we dig deep to identify fresh angles and creative opportunities to get your message out in the most meaningful way possible. 

By crafting a PR pitch that fits within the broader context of ongoing conversations, our public relations team increases the odds that your story will grab the interest of the media, reach your target audience, and spread to new audiences, as well.


The Power of a Well-Crafted Message

Messaging is the beating heart of any PR engagement. It’s the craft behind the curtain—the public relations pro’s know-how that turns good stories into great ones and gets them seen and shared.

Even if your organization hasn’t connected with an outside agency, you can start a messaging conversation with your internal team. Document your business’s current messaging and begin exploring ideas for elevating that messaging in the future. 

I encourage companies to start with their elevator pitch. Ask individuals throughout your organization to share a two-sentence elevator pitch about the business, and you’re likely to find that no two employees say the same thing. When even your elevator pitch isn’t cohesive, you’re long overdue for a messaging reboot.

Partnering with Goodwin Consulting may just be your best next step.

Consult with us to find out how we can help!