At the Wednesday, May 26, Colorado Healthcare Communicators breakfast, Denver-area media members shared tips, tricks and thoughts on how best to communicate with them. Media members at the breakfast included:
- Justin Jimenez – Examiner.com
- Misty Montano – CBS 4
- Tim Ryan – 9News
- John Romero – Fox 31
- Daniel Smith – Your Hub
- Clayton Woullard – Your Hub
- Natasha Gardner – 5280 Magazine
- Jill West – Entercom Radio: KOSI, Alice, 99.9, KEZW
- Amber Johnson – Denver Post’s Mile High Mamas
- Mike Cote – ColoradoBiz Magazine
Though these exchanges happen on a fairly regular basis with many different organizations, there is always something for attendees to take away. From this meeting, the media panel emphasized that increased workload and multiple platforms are keeping them very busy. With shrinking staff and increasing content to be created (several outlets talked about new newscasts that are being added and increased frequency of newsletters), media need to do their jobs faster and better. To cut through the clutter and get coverage in a crowded space communicators have to understand the media and help them get the content they need when and how they need it.
By crafting a story to a specific media outlet and showing the contact why this story matters, communicators can help the media to cut time reading through information not pertaining to their outlet or audience. Once the media expresses interest in a story, communicators can further assist by telling the story in the same way that the media tells it. If you are trying to get a story covered by:
- Television – explain the compelling visual images that could accompany the story.
- Radio – describe how the story translates to sound including what sound bites are available.
- Print – identify the most important facts and make clear why the readers of that specific publication would be interested.
At the end of the day, trying to get the media to cover a story means you have to think like the person on the other side of that email, phone call, conversation, Facebook message or Tweet. Why do they care and why will this story interest readers, viewers or listeners?