Ward to the Wise

Make It Mediagenic: Stimulating Coverage By Creating Media-Friendly Events

Make It MediagenicAttracting media coverage requires telling a compelling story in a compelling way. Talking heads and cold, dry facts don’t entice the media to break away from the swirl of the every day to cover your event or announcement.

To stand out these days, you need a little sizzle. You need to frame your story in a way that demands attention. You need it to be “mediagenic.”

Mediagenic content includes any content that is attractive and well-suited to the news media in its many forms. It stimulates coverage because of its uniqueness, creativity or appeal. Mediagenic stories typically involve compelling images – still photography or video, and sometimes infographics – that enhance the emotional connection a reader or viewer has to the subject matter. They capture your attention and help you to experience the situation through the reporter or photographer.

Mediagenic Matters

Creating a mediagenic event takes creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, but first and foremost, it takes strategic planning. As with any encounter with the media, you should begin with determining your business goals and objectives. Why are you seeking news coverage? Do you want to create a deeper understanding of your business? Do you want to generate an air of excitement? Do you want people to take notice of the benefits of your product or service? Regardless of your goal, you must start with a clear understanding of it in your mind so that your mediagenic event or news release elicits the desired response.

Next, determine how you want to create an emotional connection with the audience. One mediagenic technique Ward has used effectively is directly involving a reporter in the story by creating an experience for him or her. Give the reporter an opportunity to visit an oil rig, be the first to taste a chef’s new creation before it’s on the menu, or shadow a laboratory or plant worker in non-proprietary areas for the day. All of these invite the reporter to get involved, and tell the story to their audiences through their eyes. Such participation allows you to demonstrate, rather than simply assert, your best process and safety practices, company culture and product performance. The reporter experiences — and then reports — what he or she experienced as fact because they heard it with their own ears, saw it with their own eyes. It’s real to them.

Create An Experience That Resonates

If done well, reporters will embrace the experience you provide them. They will get involved and live the moment, but remember, the reporter is still a reporter. He or she still must do a job at the end of the day. Reporters do not have time to take a tour for the fun of it. They must walk away with a newsworthy story to tell.

To ensure you present a newsworthy story, every aspect of the experience must be planned in advance.

Forging Relationships

The ultimate goal of mediagenic events and creating experiential reporting opportunities is to create a connection between the reporter and the story, and between the story and your brand. Make the reporter an educated observer and yourself a trusted source to help him or her understand the industry and how it works. The end result will be more fair, balanced and accurate coverage of your company and your sector.

Every media opportunity represents not just as a way to get the word out now about your product, service or event, but an avenue for building relationships with reporters for the future. Mediagenic experiences give reporters deeper insight into your business or industry, which in turn, helps them become better journalists. They’ll thank you for this in the form of future stories and by returning to you again and again as an industry resource.

Do you need help planning and implementing unique mediagenic events or reporting opportunities? Contact Ward, and we will help you create an activity that stimulates media interest and compels the audience to pay attention – to you.

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