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Dramatic interest: Does an unknown factor somehow grab readers' or listeners' imaginations and not let go? As I'm writing this, a strike by teachers dominates headlines. And, we ask, "How long will strike last?" and "Will students be able to complete their school years?" Two questions with inherent drama in them.
Our fourth category, timeliness, kicks in most often around major holidays and important events. Most obviously, stories about Christmas spirit in December, articles about making and keeping resolutions in January, and gardening stories in spring. Many quick-moving media relations campaigns also connect with high-profile events.
Now, as you can imagine, stories often have overlapping characteristics, so for example, as teachers' strike goes on, we can expect articles about skipping traditional spring break holiday so students can catch up. That directly brings in both drama and timeliness. Indirectly, it also increases widespread interest, because others will be affected if spring break is cancelled (think of resort employees, for example).
Here’s where parallel with other communication comes in. If your other communication includes one or more, and preferably more of these characteristics, then it should be more effective. In fact, you might even start by asking yourself which characteristic you’ll try to include when you write your next memo.
In summary, by ensuring your story includes at least one of four characteristics, your media relations initiative is off to a good start. In addition, you'll improve your communication with other stakeholders.
Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Learn how you can use communication to help achieve your goals, by reading articles or subscribing to this ad-supported newsletter. An excellent resource for leaders and managers, at: http://www.communication-newsletter.com