Tip 1: Make a list of objectives that you want to achieve before starting the process. You don’t want to limit your idea and thought process, but you do want to define objectives to accomplish. When it comes to PR brainstorming, your goal is to come up with a list of the most important story ideas including new business concepts, the unique value you offer, important information you can give, and anecdotal stories. Also spend some time focusing on how and why you can be presented as an expert regarding your company, your business, and your overall field.
Tip 2: This is a group process. Don’t simply brainstorm on your own, set up a brainstorming session with your PR consultant, or, if you’re doing this in-house, meet with members of your staff that understand your business. If you’re a one man, or one woman show, bring together some friends or associates who understand your business. You want people you can bounce ideas off. You want feedback, plus you want energy. Make it fun; make it a game, but one with a purpose.
Tip 3: Allow everyone involved to speak freely. Set up an agenda but let the information flow. Start with a list of the obvious stories, then drill down to more unique stories; also review different ways to present stories. You don’t want to spend the bulk of your time on concepts or stories that are too left (or right) of center, but do let it get a bit crazy. Think out of the box. Be creative. Remember you don’t have to use all of these stories, or ideas but the deeper you drill, the better the chances of finding a great story, so let the ideas fly. Let yourself bandy about story ideas that chances are you’ll never use. You never know, those might actually turn out to lead you to some golden PR nuggets.
Tip 4: Once you’ve created a list of possible ideas, now start thinking like the media. Let’s say you’re an editor or a producer; which of the stories you’ve come up with would be the most appealing. How and why will those ideas work? Now drill down even further, which ideas will work specifically as TV pitches? Remember TV is a visual medium; you want to present stories that offer more than just a talking head. When pitching TV, think in terms of the strongest visual stories you can present.
Tip 5: Finally, start segmenting the media. Different media outlets have different needs. You need to keep that in mind when pitching and presenting your story ideas. This is where most stories meet their doom. You need to not only pitch great story ideas, you need to pitch stories that a particular journalist who writes for a very specific target market understands. For example you might come up with a great pitch idea that you could present to women’s magazine, men’s magazine and general interest magazines, but how you pitch your story to each particular outlet is going to decide whether the media is going to cover it or not. So spend some brainstorming time practicing how to build those media bridges. It will be time well spent.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011
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