The sheer volume of content being created today is mind-boggling:
Some 2 million blog posts are published every day.
About 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
With this amount of material, how can you make sure that yours stands out?
It starts with having compelling stories to tell. As PR pros know, finding story ideas within your organization isn’t easy. Most corporate communications departments and public relations agencies today aren’t set up to handle the complex discovery process that’s needed in our content-centric world.
Here are a three ways to find amazing content from within your company:
1. Organize your staff like a newsroom.
Set up a system so you can start functioning like a news staff. This doesn’t require that you restructure and hire all new people. It can be as simple as a weekly newsroom-style assignment meeting. Educate your staff on what is newsworthy as it pertains to your brand. Then encourage them to look for ideas within the company that relate to these topics. Ask team members to pitch their stories to the group and reward the best ideas by green-lighting them for content creation. Once this process is in place, the creativity and ideas really begin to flow.
2. Think like a beat reporter.
In an actual newsroom, reporters typically are assigned to cover different beats or specialties. There will be specific people for health care, crime or politics. You can set up this same system within your brand. List your company’s various products and services, and divide those into different categories, which then become writing beats. Then split those beats among your team. Once you have assigned specific areas or topics to manage, ask each staff member to establish relationships with internal company stakeholders who work in their assigned area. The PR team should keep in regular contact with these stakeholders. As the process gets underway, you’ll be amazed at the ideas that funnel to your beat writers.
3. Build internal trust.
Developing trust with internal stakeholders is the key to a constant flow of story ideas. When people have confidence in your ability and loyalty, they naturally want to share more information. One way to sustain this trust and nurture the relationship is to share the final piece of content you’ve created before it’s published. You should also share and celebrate any great outcomes resulting from the stories.
Use these three tips to turn your story discovery process from boring to brilliant.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.