Journalists Want Your Soul
Business and technology journalists in New York and San Francisco are bored with quotes from the CEO. What do they want? The heart and soul of the company, good ideas and real conversation.
Good preparation helps you give journalists what they want and need, without sacrificing insider or competitive information. Today, journalists want:
Your ideas and insights: Be a source of ideas and conversation, not just quotes. Journalists need a lot more background conversations that may not necessarily result in coverage, but building these relationships as a two way street will help over the medium and long term. And, don’t insist on “off the record,” unless it’s truly critical.
The heartbeat of your company: You are the CEO, but there are other interesting employees who live and breathe your core values. These people are the heart and soul of the company (and your internal brand ambassadors). Let these employees showcase their passion and ideas, and give them the benefit of good preparation and media training. Journalists are increasingly asking for access that goes beyond the founder or LOB head; they are looking for intangibles such as “heart” and “spark.”
How you tie into a larger trend: For small and mid-sized companies, every day news just isn’t newsworthy for mass audiences. However, your company likely fits into a larger trend. Show the journalist the link between your company and broad themes. Start-ups often have more difficulty getting coverage in the mass business and technology media due to simple space and time constraints: journalists need to cover the larger companies. Tying into larger trends — with specific stories, technology or IP — helps the journalist cover his or her beat.
Be there: Finally, access to journalists is only as good as your availability. If you’re not comfortable speaking spontaneously (or almost spontaneously) to journalists, guided preparation can significantly improve your performance.
LL+A helps you tell your story better. Contact me to start a conversation.