Wouldn’t it be great to get your story into the papers? Or a feature on A Current Affair?
It is always possible to do that but some realism is needed to succeed. So here are a few rules that can help you get that story into the papers.
If you don’t try, you won’t get it in.
Really, if you are waiting for the media to knock on your door then you will be waiting for the obituary page. An email, letter or phone call to a media outlet can make it happen but you will need more than your name and be ready for disappointment.
The larger the media outlet, the smaller your chances to get the story run.
It’s not just you trying to get into the papers or on the Sunday news. There are plenty of smaller news outlets that you can try (like our webpage- which is pretty easy to get your story in) that people access a lot more than you realise (like over 1000 people who access our website or social pages per day). The other side to that is the larger media pay attention to the smaller outlets so if you did get a run on Crikey or Buzzfeed you might just get the 7:30 report interested (and knocking on your door).
If you lie you die.
The journalistic rule is that facts in a story needs to be verified by three primary means before they run the story. So If you like in an interview or over the phone to a journalist you are likely to be found out and bang goes your chances.
Media can do what they like with a story once they have it. Once you’ve said it, its not yours any more.
You might remember a story quoted by President Trump when he talked about the problems with the Swedish immigrant problem. This was based on a mini documentary by the Fox network where Swedish police officers were interviewed. According to the police officers interviewed their statements about immigrant crime were taken right out of context and cut to remove their statements which showed that there wasn’t a significant problem. The story said there was a significant problem. The same can happen (and does) with any story. But in general the Australian media will stick to their professional integrity and run the story they told you they would run.
The one thing that will happen is that your 1 hour interview will be cut to as little as 15 seconds (been there, done that).
If you aren’t prepared you won’t get your story out, but you may get something out.
To “control” the story you need to prepare the story (see tell your story for a tool to do just this). It is also important to think about a short 15 second summary of your issue and problem. This is called a grab in the industry (or was last time I talked to a journalist).
Your approach will have to change depending on who the media is.
What you would say to a Ray Hadley will have to be different to what you would say to a Leigh Sales. The tell your story tool helps keep your story consistent despite who you are talking to but you need to adjust all the same.
IWSN Campaigning series. no 4.