May 26, 2012 Leave a comment
I began as a fiction writer and then moved into journalism. From there I found my way to PR. It wasn’t a career path I was thinking of taking, it more or less was a process that evolved. But, whether I’m writing fiction, journalism or for public relations campaigns, the basic tenants remain the same. It all comes down to a good, compelling story.
When I worked as a journalist I wrote with my readers in mind. I wrote with the intention of being relevant to my target market. When I write a novel or a play, I’m looking to tell a good story, but I’m also looking to connect with the public. In essence, as a fiction writer, I’m once again, looking to connect with my target market. To some writers that sounds crass and although I don’t write my fiction with the market in mind, I do hope and try to write a compelling enough story that the play, novel or screenplay directly connects with my audience. From my perspective, that is part of my job as a writer.
I’ve written quite a bit on how PR comes down to effective storytelling, which is in fact what public relations is all about. Here again, it’s not just telling a story, it’s telling a story that resonates with a specific audience. When it comes to traditional media, your job is to convince that editor or producer that the story you’re pitching is going to captivate his or her readers, listeners or viewers.
It needs to be compelling, but it also has to be relevant to that particular target market. For example you could have an incredibly captivating tale that has to do with sports or fitness. From your perspective it’s a slam dunk. It has all of the elements of a strong, powerful story. But creating that pitch is simply step one, now you have to present it to the right media contacts. If you spend your time pitching your sports-oriented story to the beauty editors of the top women’s magazines, I’d say your chances of landing an article are slim. Yes, you have the story, but there is a disconnect when it comes to the media you’re pitching. In effect you haven’t built the bridge necessary to take your story from being a strong concept to being a produced segment or published article.
There lies the secret. You need to develop a strong story with a compelling narrative, but you also need to know when to pitch it and who to pitch it to. In other words you need to know your audience. Combine those two elements, a strong story and a defined market, and, regardless what style or form of writing you work in, you’ll succeed.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2012