How to write a great Media Board piece
Sent daily to over 500 subscribed media from all media channels, the Media Board is literally a virtual board of 10 to 12, 120 to 150-word stories, distributed right around the country, including rural and regional Australia.
Think of these short stories as teasers that stimulate interest and encourage the media to find out more. These aren’t stories about your company or PR/advertising brand. They’re about putting your opinions and expertise forward, making you the person the media goes to for comment.
I know you’re asking, “How can I tell a story in 150 words”? That’s the thing about the Media Board – you don’t need to tell the whole story in the first instance. Your story may be picked up by radio, TV, print or online media around the country who could invite you to contribute to their programs – and that’s when you dig down into the detail and become the voice of your industry.
There’s plenty of ways to produce a piece of Media Board content. You can write it in the first person, or outline top tips on a particular topic. But it’s important to stay in your area of expertise – you know the old saying “A jack of all trades is a master of none”, which means that a person is a generalist rather than a specialist. The Media Board is a key part of the process of raising your profile and showcasing you as the expert, the specialist in your field.
We’re looking for 3 to 4 pieces of content per month from you. These can be about trending topics, or they can be evergreen pieces that sit in the Media Board schedule and run as required. In addition to those, members of Media Stable will often receive an email from us, prompting you to provide content on a particular topic that’s trending in the news. We’re looking for a quick turnaround when this happens, but it’s entirely up to you if you want to comment or not.
My advice to our members is: Stay on the Media Board. Keep your short stories coming. They’re being seen by hundreds of journalists right around the country.
Every time a piece of your content runs on the Media Board, your Media Stable profile is linked to it which includes your background, your media expertise, and your contact details. Don’t forget to update it every time you get a win!
But that’s a blog for another time…
Here’s some tips on writing a great piece of content:
- Know your audience – remember, the Media Board is distributed nationally, and your content should reflect that. While we want the media to pick it up, your #1 audience are the listeners, the readers, the watchers. Talk to them.
- Set the scene – introduce the subject matter and background info in the first 3 or 4 lines.
- Get to the point – you’ve got 8 or 9 lines to get your opinion across so get to the point early. Make it witty, a little quirky and don’t be afraid to push the boundaries (a little). Add data, facts and figures to back up your opinion. Embed links to academic research, news articles or other stories.
- Tie it all up – end with a call to action, a question to make the reader consider their opinion and want to know more, or an offer to make yourself available to share your expertise further.
- Add a short and punchy headline – once you’ve finished your story, work on your headline. Long headlines usually need to be edited down, so think 6 to 8 words max. Short and punchy is best.
Finally, we’re always here to help our members. If you’re struggling to get that piece of content down to 150 words, need help with content ideas, editing, adding headlines, etc., that’s what we do. So, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Suzi O’Dell, Media Engagement Manager (East Coast)