How Serving as a New Year’s Resolution Resource Can Grow Your Business

It’s that time of year again, and as much as producers and reporters pride themselves on coming up with new and innovative story ideas, certain perennial themes continue to dominate the thinking of these journalists, as they look for story ideas each and every holiday season.  Yes, I’m referring to stories and interviews that help others as they plan their new year’s resolutions — and contemplate how a wide spectrum of challenges will be overcome and dreams achieved, once the clock strikes midnight on December 31.
I spent many years as a network news producer myself, before I moved into the field of public relations, and I was on the receiving end of many of these pitches that focused on new year’s resolutions.
With that in mind, I’d like to give you a few suggestions on how you can make the most of this time of year.  Keeping these ideas in mind will endear you to my friends in the news media, as they fill their schedules for late December and savor the feeling of having one less thing to think about during their busy day.
Whether you’re an author, expert or service provider, here are a few things that will help you craft a very successful pitch for this time of year:
1. Be succinct.  Whether you’re pitching journalists with a written press release or by phone, remember that producers, reporters and assignment desk editors are almost always overwhelmed with story ideas — and they are expected to deliver fresh new stories almost every day, at the same time.  They always appreciate a pitch that succinctly explains why it’s timely, captivating and a perfect fit for that particular media outlet.
2. Describe the “Take-Away Value.”  It’s tempting to think of a television or radio interview, or a print or online article as yet another “advertising vehicle” — but this is the time to give your knowledge away.  As my brilliant executive producer Shelley Ross often encouraged us during my time with “Good Morning America,” the audience is sitting at home taking in each segment of the show with one question on their minds — “What’s in it for me?”  When you’re pitching your story idea, let the journalists know that you’re prepared to feature plenty of actionable “nuggets” in your interview or article.
3. Think Production Value.  As intellectually captivating as your story idea may be, the journalists you’re pitching want to know that during the five minutes of airtime, for example, the audience watching the show will see more than just “talking heads.”  (And, no, I’m not referring to David Byrne and his friends.)  If you have some great video that can be included in the segment, that’s always welcome — or perhaps there are some props that you can bring into the studio to help illustrate the story.
4. Does Your Story Lend Itself to a “Before-and-After” Approach?  The most vivid example of this approach, of course, can be found in stories focusing on diets and weight loss.  Having some “before-and-after” photos to share during the segment lets viewers know that they, too, can experience dramatic improvement in overcoming a challenge or achieving a goal.  Not long ago, I helped one client — a foot-and-ankle surgeon based in Los Angeles — appear on the nationally-syndicated show, “The Doctors.”  We showcased a young lady who had become withdrawn because of an injury, who later — thanks to this surgeon’s help — was able to reclaim her life in a wonderful way.
5. Let the Audience Know How to Take the Next Step with You.  As wonderful as an interview or article featured in a high-profile media outlet can be, don’t forget that what you’re really offering the audience is “a stepping stone” for them to begin a relationship with you, and benefit from your wisdom on an ongoing basis.  Perhaps you have a downloadable article on your website that they may appreciate, or you are offering a free teleclass where you’ll be going into this topic in much more depth.  Make certain you let your audience know how they can learn more from you.
Speaking of giving an audience more information, many of my friends and colleagues enjoy receiving my free weekly newsletter, through which I share tips and ideas on how to deliver your message to the widest possible audience.  If you’d like to subscribe to receive my weekly newsletter, just follow this link —