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Henry Stimpson’s PR and Marketing Tips
April 2003

Story ideas—an amazingly effective way to boost media coverage

Sending story ideas regularly is an extraordinarily effective way to generate ongoing media coverage.

Story ideas are simply brief nuggets that capture the essence of a story in one to three sentences. They pinpoint a key trend and offer your company as a source of expertise and commentary.

I usually send about four story ideas at any one time—although I’ve sometimes sent as few as one and as many as six on the same sheet. Having a few story ideas improves your odds without overwhelming reporters with too many ideas.

Story ideas work because:

         . The reporter is already working on that idea and is looking for experts to interview—and your          idea comes in at just the right time.
        . The reporter isn’t working on such a story but sees it as a compelling idea he or she can take to his or her editor.
        . An editor is looking for outside experts to contribute bylined articles and your idea fits.
        . Busy editors and reporters can scan story ideas in a few seconds.

Writing effective story ideas takes the same kind of skill to write a good headline. You need a few strong, well-chosen words that grab the editor’s or reporter’s attention.

We’ve had much success with story ideas. They’ve generated coverage for our clients in publications from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to trade publications like the National Underwriter.

copyright Stimpson Communications


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