ATTENTION: This post is interesting [no infographic included]
This post comes from INK alumna Rachael Genson.
As I see it, the information my clients have is groundbreaking, so the way that it is presented to the world should be too, and a large part of my job entails finding a unique way to get the media and their audiences to pay attention to that information. We recently had @SamWhitmore (the genius behind SWMS) visit the INK office, and if there was one thing I could take away from his visit, it’s this: Decision making today is being driven by a story’s entertainment value and its ability to translate into content for social channels.
Translation: Reporters want to write about things that will educate, but more importantly, entertain their readers and topics that are likely to be popular on social media channels.
No more are the days of just pitching a story to a reporter and seeing results in the next issue. With the endless amount of pitches reporters receive on a daily basis, it is imperative that yours delivers information in a way that resonates with the journalist. Take the infographic as an example. When it first appeared, reporters were so excited to finally be given a visual way to supplement their stories that they flocked to any source that provided an infographic. In turn, consumers were thrilled to have a new way to understand information and tended to prefer articles with infographics included. Consequently, the infographic took over. Now there is such a proliferation of infographics on the web that it has become difficult to pull any true value from them.
Rather than simply follow the trend, as PR professionals, it is our responsibility to introduce new ways that a reporter can intrigue their audience. Below are two sources of information ever-present but seldom used:
Raw Data: If you asked me three years ago while I was forced to sit through my college statistics class, I would swear up and down that raw data is BORING. If you ask me now, you’ll hear a very different answer. On its own, data is not that much to look at – it doesn’t have the visually pleasing or mentally stimulating qualities that draw people in. But raw data has potential (even the weirdest infographics had to get their numbers somewhere). When used correctly, numbers and percentages are fascinating and can intrigue even the biggest skeptic into reading further into an article.
Consumer Driven Content: Isn’t it obvious that today, people love to see what their peers have to say? Otherwise, Facebook and YouTube would never have taken off like they did. What better way to draw a reader into a story than to include content created by a like-minded peer? Whether this is in the form of a how-to video or an interesting blog post, it doesn’t matter – consumers want their opinions heard just as much as reporters want their articles read. Pay attention to what your audience is saying and it will pay off down the line.
With some luck (and some kick-butt ways to present information), we’ll be able to integrate new appealing aspects in our conversations with our audiences and draw intrigue to even the most non-newsworthy news.