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Have a message to share? At Sinclair, we understand the importance of making sure the most compelling story is the one you’re telling.


Finding Your Story

Deciding on your message is the first step in controlling the narrative. What do you want people to think about you, an issue, etc.?

Research through survey polling and focus groups can be essential in finding a message that will resonate with an audience. Come up with a few ideas, test them, then build your messaging infrastructure around the messaging with the most favorable response.

Have your story fleshed out before you pitch it to the media or publish it on your own channels. You want to make sure you have talking points, and are prepared to explain each facet of the story and to answer any questions when asked.

Staying in the Media

You can’t control how your story is conveyed if it’s not being told in the first place. At Sinclair, we have excellent working relationships with media contacts and have the ability to target outlets that can help tell your story to the most appropriate audiences. Being published in the right places is just as important as being published at all.

Pitching stories to reporters is key. Reach out to reporters – whether through emails or a quick phone call – and give them a quick rundown of what you have going on. It’s ultimately up to them whether it becomes a story, but there are key guidelines you can follow to increase your chances of media exposure.

Along with pitching a story, press releases are vital in scoring earned media. Before sending, research specific reporters and outlets who cover stories like yours – this ensures a better chance of a press release being picked up and a longer, more detailed story being told in the future.

Relationships with the media are vital, so make sure to follow up with reporters after a story is published. This makes sure they feel like more than just a means to an end, making them a trusted source later on.

Sticking to a Message

Find the focal point of your story – whether it’s a stance, issue, product, etc. – and emphasize that in all communications. For example, if you’re fighting against legislation, your reasons for opposition and the flaws of the bill would be at the forefront of messaging.

Be consistent. The more you push an idea, the more likely it will get the audience’s attention or at the least, build traction in the media. Consistent messaging that saturates the market is the best way to push an issue or brand, guaranteeing your story is noticed far and wide.

Also recognize that if the message isn’t garnering the attention you’re looking for, it’s okay to change direction. Testing different options and regular analysis of what is working and what is not is itself an important part of proper messaging.

Analyzing and Revising

Throughout the storytelling process, you’ll want to track both sentiment and reach. At Sinclair, we run sentiment analysis to view both media and public perception of your message. We can also determine the amount of media attention you’re getting and who’s talking about you. Understanding the key influencers in your industry or market is critical in keeping your message relevant and understanding important trends related to your message.

If sentiment is negative, you can take a step back and revise the messaging strategy. What part of the message aren’t people liking? Is it the message itself or the type of content you’re posting? Read both published media stories and comments – it’s not the end all be all, but what the public has to say matters.

Not all messages work how you want the first time, but that’s OK. Go back to the drawing board, but with a sense of earnest. Do more research. Reflect on what happened. If the message never gained traction, you can revise your media strategy as well – target different outlets, adjust message timing and frequency, etc.

At Sinclair, we know the importance of both staying on top of and being part of the story. Whether it’s crisis management or issue management, we have experience taking a client’s story and getting it told through a campaign, media stories, and social media.

Your story matters. We’ll make sure it’s heard.

Sinclair Public Affairs

Author Sinclair Public Affairs

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