Lately I’ve been pitching various news and media outlets with article ideas. Although I have no control over whether they will think my idea is a good fit for them or the timing is right, I still get them out there.

One thing (among many) I have learned is that because I spend an exorbitant amount of time simply creating the outline after conducting a ton of research and figuring out my interview sources, I have to divide the subject into several article ideas so I don’t go completely insane.

As I review research sources I learn an abundance about the topic. And when I read through studies, I realize there is a lot of potential for multiple articles. This is helpful for me because that means after all the research I conduct on a subject, I can now split it into a number of pieces for a variety of news outlets. Which means I am not stressed about coming up with 10 unique stories. I merely have to adjust the idea to what would interest the media’s audience.

What is also good about dispersing the content ideas into individualized takes on a basic subject, is that I am learning to narrow the theme into something that is not a vague or broad topic.

Brainstorming and creating story ideas is not an easy task. That’s why it is a good idea that once you have your story to then think of different directions you can take it.

This is especially helpful with your brand story. Viewing your story with many perspectives means you can outline an array of articles and pitches to media, ensuring continued interest in your organization.

What are some ways you can find hidden gems in your story? What are key practices you can implement to create unique pieces without starting from scratch? How can you get the media interested in your stories?

Excerpts for this article are taken from “How to Pitch the Media for Your Nonprofit News.” Although the workbook is focused on nonprofits, commercial organizations will benefit from the information. Check it out here.


Find hidden gems in your story

Using one story to create several different narratives eliminates a lot of headaches to redesign an already good product — your brand story.

Start with your basic story to build upon. Ask: What and who do you represent? How are you helping people? What are people in the community able to accomplish because you exist?

Those three questions can offer an array of stories based on each service you offer and who you help. Think about it: how is one group of people benefiting from what you do for them? Then think of the next group. Neither group is the same and they have their own internal stories to share.

Remember: your brand story is based on your values. Do you have several values? I’m betting you do. So think about each value and how that is showcased in what you do and your services. Then reflect on the stories each one tells.


Key practices to implement to create unique stories

Determine what is your story. Answer the who, what, when, where, why and how. Why should people care?

Talk to internal sources — executives, board members, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries — and learn their viewpoint on the story. What do they see that you might not see? A variety of perspectives can often present new angles.

Review your organization’s history and past stories. How are they different today? What is a new spin you could take?

Think about what problems you are solving in this particular narrative. How are you solving them? Why should your potential customer, client, or funder choose you?


Getting the media interested in your story

The media can get a lot of information from your website, your newsletter, social media, and previous articles. So think about what they can’t get through an online search.

Take a story idea, even one that has been done in the past, and rethink how the story could be told differently. If you have a good relationship with a media source, ask what would appeal to them.

By presenting ideas to the media, lining up interview subjects, and giving them the heart of your story, you continue to build upon relationships.

Also, not all of the media will be interested in your story, unless you shape it according to their particular audience. Create ways to slant your one story into other stories. For example, maybe your brand story is how you take the complicated and make it simple. Okay, what are the variety of ways you do this? Who benefits? Can you reshape the narrative in a way that makes your community interested? A global audience interested?

Study the media you intend to pitch or interact with and learn their audience. Oftentimes reading their articles will give you ideas of ways to spin your own piece.


Final thoughts

Just as you reshape your story to fit your audience’s needs who review your website, your letters, and your social media, you will search for ideas to create multiple themes from one story for the media.

Outline each story idea to allow varying perspectives and details. You can use this questionnaire outline or create your own, something that works for your needs.

More suggestions are detailed in the workbook: “How to Pitch the Media for Your Nonprofit News.”

By focusing on one subject, you can create many stories that will serve as useful content through the year.

Brainstorming ideas for stories about our business can be time consuming and tedious. Instead, create ideas from one story to eliminate stress. Build upon your brand story and locate hidden gems. Create unique stories by talking with internal sources and reviewing past articles you could refresh with new ideas. Understand what audience appeals to which media outlet to know how to slant your story.

Need help telling your business or author story? My brand training helps you live your brand by recognizing your story and learning how to use it effectively to enhance engagement and increase sales. Find out more here and book a call with me!