Want to know how to create a research based news story that will produce reams of national news and lifestyle coverage?
This is what we do day in, day out at GingerComms. It’s our bread and butter, and we work with some of the biggest household name brands and leading PR agencies to turn campaigns into coverage.
We also frequently work with our research division, Perspectus Global, to help drive awareness of its services. And recently we developed and sold in a consumer research based story, which revealed a list of the most annoying words, according to Brits.
Our sell resulted in blanket coverage – 34 pieces in total, including the Mail Online, the Guardian, BBC News, Metro, ITVX and the Sun (and that’s just the UK print coverage).
So how did we do it? In this blog, we’ll take you through our initial thinking, story development and media distribution, so you can see precisely the steps we took to make this research a success.
When we brainstorm ideas for clients, we are trying to find a topic with media appeal that relates to the brand offering – the news gen sweet spot. In this case, Perspectus Global wanted to drive awareness of how it has its finger on the pulse about cultural trends, and also give a nod to its report writing capabilities.
We know that the media love research that is relatable, gets people talking, and shines a light on popular culture in some way – especially if it links topics of debate and conversation on social media.
With this in mind we started thinking about topics that related – even loosely – to report writing, which were also funny and would get people talking. We often use the ‘would you talk about it in a pub’ rule when coming up with consumer facing ideas – ie, is this something you’d chat with your friends about, and is it something that pretty much everyone will have opinions on?
And out of the GingerComms brainstorm machine came the following idea … let’s poll Britons to find out what words they find the most annoying. As this ticked all of our boxes.
Story development and research
To start work on this research angle, we looked at social media to see what words people find the most annoying. We also polled people in the agency to find out what words made them cringe the most. We then produced a big list of words – including a number of ‘neutral ones’ for robustness – and wrote our research questions.
We included some questions about the visceral reaction people have to words they dislike – that cringing feeling you sometimes get when you hear someone say an annoying word.
In fact, we were so interested in that cringe reaction – which many people said they felt when we ran the survey – that we also talked to neuroscientist Dr Rachel Taylor about why this happens, and she was happy to provide a quote explaining the phenomenon for our story.
Release creation and media distribution
With the research results back and the expert quote in, we crafted a release that read as news copy, rather than a traditional press release. This is because we know that we get the most pick up when we present copy in the format of the outlet we are pitching to. Time-poor journalists don’t have to then wade through a release to pull out interesting information, and write it up. Instead they can quickly scan the copy to see if it’s a good fit, and then tweak it, which saves them effort and time.
At 8am on the sell in day, we sent the release to news desks, news editors, and journalists we thought would be interested in the story, and later that day undertook a tailored online push, rewriting the release for different outlets as necessary.
We find this the best way to sell a story into the media – get them early with a release that is easy for them to digest and use.
We were over the moon with the results of this project – as were our Perspectus Global colleagues. And we hope that this blog helps you achieve success with your research stories in the same way.
If you’d like to chat about working together to get your brand into national news media, get in touch!.