Storytelling and the Power of Making Headlines - M+R Research ...

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Storytelling and the Power of Making Headlines - M+R Research ...

Storytelling and the Power of Making Headlines114. Let your stories loose!As you write your pitches to reporters, match the stories to the right type of media. What’s abetter fit for each of your stories – morning TV, op-ed, radio, local feature, Time cover story?Customize your story pitches for the medium you have in mind. Don’t forget to include thosepersonal details that bring your pitch to life and help paint a picture for the reporter of whattheir story could eventually be. Speaking of pictures, if you have a photo of the people you’repitching you should include it in the email.When you get that email back from a reporter that says, “I’m interested,” your job is notdone. Reconnect with your story-tellers and prepare them for the interview. Provide talkingpoints, do mock interviews with them, practice trick questions and pivoting back to the mainmessage, and praise them to build up their confidence. You should also offer to join the calland listen – or accompany them if it’s an in-person interview.A Green Business’ StoryDuring our work with the Rockefeller Foundation and Blue Green Alliancepromoting American green jobs, we unearthed a story made for media.Jerry Holt is a wind worker in Pennsylvania who spoke with PresidentObama during his visit to the Fairless Hill wind turbine plant. Jerrywas worried that if the wind production tax credit expired, he and hiscoworkers would lose their jobs.We worked with Jerry in the fall of 2012 to place an op-ed about hisconcerns, initially pitching it to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the largestregional paper. When we didn’t get any bites with the Inquirer we triedCNN.com thinking the national issue would be appealing. Nada.We were open with Jerry that the op-ed approach wasn’t working. Andwe asked if he’d be comfortable talking with reporters if we tried pitchingnews articles instead. He said yes. So we turned our attention to pitchingJerry’s story to regional reporters in Pennsylvania. A business reporter atthe Philly Inquirer took us up on the offer and the next day Jerry’s storyand plea to preserve the wind tax credit was featured on the front page ofthe business section.Our persistence and Jerry’s patience paid off in the press and in the real world. In an eleventh hour vote toextend the wind tax credit through 2013, both of Pennsylvania’s senators voted yes.M+R Strategic Services