Brown paper packages tied up with string

Brown paper packages tied up with string

Screenshot 2016-09-02 07.43.27Don’t panic.  I’m not about to burst into song!

Yesterday I was driving to a meeting in Corby when I heard a story on the radio which very nicely illustrated the media’s need for a great package.

The meeting in Corby was about Our Woods, a festival of over 40 interactive and incredibly varied events in Corby’s woodlands. From woodland singing and poetry walks to tree climbing for adults, the festival is a great way to discover the woodlands. Get involved if you’re near Corby before May 2017.  Click on the link to find out more.

Back to the package tied up with string.

The story was on Woman’s Hour.  It was about the dearth of female artists in today’s country music scene.  I don’t know for sure, but I suspect the piece was pitched by the team behind Ward Thomas.  Ward Thomas – British twins Catherine and Lizzie Ward Thomas – are releasing a country music album today.

Recognising most country music is bought by women, a piece on Woman’s Hour was perfect.  But picking up the phone and just putting them forward for an interview was unlikely to work.  Instead the team created a complete and compelling package, tied up with string.

They identified an issue, the absence of female artists in the genre today, and got some substance to back it up.  Last year a country radio executive said female artists should only account for 15% of the station’s playlists.  No airtime, no sales.  No sales, no contract with a label.  No contract, no working female artists.  Then they found someone with insight to talk to about the issue, the spokesperson for Change the Conversation, a group set up in Nashville in 2014 to tackle this issue.   They gave it a timely hook.  The new series of Nashville, a drama about country music in which the lead characters are female artists, has just kicked off.  Finally, it was perfect for radio. They could play lots of snippets of country music songs, including those by Ward Thomas.

It was a great story.  It might not have focused solely on Catherine and Lizzie Ward Thomas but it gave them a perfect platform from which to launch their new album.

The lessons for every business wanting to develop stories are simple:

  1. Understand your audience and where to find them.
  2. Build a package by tapping into an issue directly relevant to your target outlet.
  3. Make it timely; give them a reason to publish or go live now.
  4. Make it come to life with great audio, video or pictures, depending on the media platform you’re targeting.

Give me a call if you’d like my help to develop compelling media stories.

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