PR Basics: How to create a story that works for PR

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Everyone needs a story, in order to be able to communicate effectively.

But as most companies are not famous, they don’t often create news. So how can they create stories that journalists are going to be interested in?

Most PR coverage comes from views: adding value to a story that matters to your audience and the media they follow.

In order to create a story that works, we suggest going through our “Six A” process.

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Audience: who you’re talking to

Who are the customer groups, or personas? What are their concerns and issues? List names/ companies if possible; the more specific the easier it is to imagine telling them the story.

Attention: the things that prompt interest

Where is their attention? This may be on other companies, peers, ‘hot topics’ in their sector, political events/ regulation, industry events, reports. This is usually the ‘way in’ to the story.

Arc: the journey

What is changing? Every story has an arc. Rags to Riches, Here to There, Then to Now. 0-60. Old to New. Communications aims to change behaviours, so from what point to where?.

Argument: the client problem

Why is it in their interest to change? This describes the client problem that your category aims to solve. The bigger the problem, the better. Examples, and metrics to measure the problem, offer proof.

Authority: what you have to offer

Why listen to you? Again, proof; it may be data, previous experience, professional endorsements, award wins etc.

Action: the test, and next step

What should they do right now? How can the audience test if the problem applies to them; and then what - ie If This Then That.

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If each of the As is clear, you've got a decent story.

If not, this method helps find the holes and figure out how to fill them.

Matt Phillips