There is a fundamental question you need to ask yourself when you’re trying to get your message placed in the media – is your story good enough to make someone whip out their credit card and pay for it?
In the Australian media landscape, content has been free for consumers for a long time. Our TV and radio were free. Newspapers had a cover price but when the digital revolution arrived, much of that content became available for free.
New consumer habits were formed. Now they’re being reformed.
People are now content to pay to stream movies, television shows and music. They’re less happy to pay for newspaper content online, although that is changing. Free-to-air television providers have also seen their audience demographics change, particularly in the news space.
Despite this, it is still newspapers that drive the daily news agenda.
And if you want to make it into newspapers, you have the two-question test to pass:
Is it good enough you would read it yourself?
Is it valuable enough to prompt someone to buy a digital subscription?
If the answer is “no” to either question, then you’ve missed the sweet spot.
Be honest with yourself and ask whether someone would really find your story interesting. If you’re a regular media consumer, you’ll know what sort of stories stop you in your tracks. If your story doesn’t measure up to one of those pieces that make you take a few minutes out of your day, then it is time to rethink your angle.
Once you have the right angle, the key to getting published in the current media landscape is finding that Venn diagram crossover, where you match the audience you’re trying to reach with the target audience of the media outlet.
That means understanding TV and radio demographics and knowing which stories drive an increase in digital subscriptions for newspapers.
Whether it be the Australian Financial Review, the Adelaide Advertiser or the Toowoomba Chronicle, the editors need to know your story will provide value to subscribers or entice new people to sign up.
For radio and television news directors, they want to know your angle will draw more listeners and viewers in the demographic that is of most value to their advertisers.
There are many other hurdles to clear to land your message in the right place but spending the time to know the value of your own message for the media is a strong first step.
If you need help to get your messaging right, contact us to speak with our team who have decades of experience in journalism and know what makes a “good yarn”.