“Tell me a story.” As a child, you typically want your storyteller to be verbose and colorful in the details – helping to paint a realistic image in your mind. In business, and subsequently in media relations, the 30-second pitch and the elevator speech reign king. Essentially, you have a very small window of opportunity to tell your story.
So, what is your story? All too often business owners box themselves into the typical storyline: “I run a business on the corner of x and x and we sell unique products that are just so special. Please write a story about us.” But, that is rarely the story the journalist wants to hear.
Go beyond the grand openings, new products, employee hirings, etc.. there is a story to be told, we promise! To really understand what we are talking about, it’s best if we provide you with one of our stories.
One of our clients recently opened an Italian restaurant in a small strip mall in Suburbia, USA. Our goal was to generate buzz and, of course, drive more customers to their business. Yes, it is a great restaurant and one that is desperately needed in an area full of gas stations and fast food joints. But, here is the REAL story…or rather the types of things the media wanted to hear and picked up on..resulting in an Editor’s Dessert Pick for a major monthly glossy BEFORE the restaurant even opened its doors:
· The owners of the restaurant come from a huge Italian family and, in fact have five children of their own. Everyone is involved in the running of the restaurant – all of the dishes are named after family members.
· The family patriarch is a world class athlete and Olympian.
· The co-owner is a seasoned choreographer and was involved in the choreography of a movie that happened to be releasing the same time the restaurant was opening, which was a great angle for entertainment media.
· The other co-owner had been a waiter and manager at several high-end Italian restaurants before he pursued his dream of opening his own place.
· The owners hired a consultant who had been a chef on a leading Food Network program to plan the menu and get the kitchen ready to open.
· And the list goes on…
The point is, take inventory of the histories, passions, goals, and interests of all persons involved in your business. You may not be an Olympian or a choreographer, but you may be a community philanthropist, author, or animal-lover. Whatever it is, find your angle and promote it – even if it doesn’t directly relate to your business. Chances are when they do a story on you and, for instance, your volunteer work at the homeless shelter, they will mention your business affiliation. Basically, TELL YOUR STORY!