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How to stay afloat during a Royal Commission wipeout, recommendations from the Shed

Trying to get some publication real estate when a hot topic, such as the Royal Commission, is occupying reporters’ attention can be harder than getting a parking space at Westfield in the week leading up to Christmas.

So, to make things a little easier, Shed Connect has compiled our top three suggestions for getting editorial attention when a single/hot topic is demanding all the attention.

1) Stick like glue to the trend:

This is the tried and tested “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” strategy. The way to get your news out there is to make a comment about the story of the day. But you either must be very quick off the mark and be prepared to say something highly controversial or, if you are more conservative, sit back for a couple of days and find a fresh angle – never an easy task. Either way the key is to find an interesting angle, a nugget hiding in the dialogue that no one else is talking about and expose it.

Our golden rule: never start with you as a solution; rather, identify the situation, gently expose the problem and then hit the home run with a subtle note about how you can assist.

2) Buck the trend:

This option is to go against the grain altogether and create a new topic. Interest a journalist into writing about something different with the aim of creating a new noise (note, not diverting attention but creating a new topic altogether). More difficult to achieve as the journalist will have to convince the editor of the value of this story idea when news space is tight. In other words, it will either work brilliantly or fall flat. And if you take this option, make sure you have a bloody good angle. Readers who are sick to death of the story of the day will love you for it.

Our golden rule: You must have lots of meat on a fabulous set of bones to get a hungry diner to veer away from the buffet.

3) Don’t go out there alone … get help

Getting media attention on your own is a struggle at the best of times and, although you may be good mates with a reporter or two, or have a few business cards, don’t for a minute think that will produce a story. Journalists are time poor so it can be very frustrating trying to connect with the fourth estate and then sell your story idea, especially when your priority is running your own business. Your best bet is to find yourself a quality partner, a media agency that understands your business and can do the legwork for you.

Our golden rule: Culture is king. Find an agency who actually gets you, will tailor work to fit your PR goals, budget and, most importantly, align with your culture. Get this right and you are well on the way to enhancing your brand.

Trish Nicklin, Senior Consultant, Shed Connect.