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Media Training: Kicking It

  February 20, 2022

If you're someone who watches either local or national news broadcasts, you have no doubt noticed that most days they end on a story that is cute, funny, moving or thought-provoking.  The final piece of the newscast is typically called the "kicker."  Back when I was a network television news producer, I was obsessed with finding just the right story to wrap up my newscast each day.  

Nowadays, this piece could a short viral video. If the video's been viewed a million times on YouTube, why wouldn't a producer want to include it?  Add a short interview with the person behind that video and you have a nice kicker.

In a local broadcast, the story of an area resident who is doing something for the community could be perfect.  Maybe he's setting out on a cross-country walk to raise money for a good cause.  Or perhaps the NFL team in your city is holding an event for children in need.  A salon is doing free makeovers on local Moms for Mother's Day.  There are many good deeds that are newsworthy--because viewers like these feel-good stories. 

A cute story about animals, children or especially babies is a nice way to end a newscast too. These work because viewers relate to them.  How many viewers have children, grandchildren, dogs, cats, or other pets?  

So how can you and your business get in on this?  Don't be afraid to communicate about good deeds your company and employees are doing. This isn't bragging.  It's just a way to show your community (potential customers and clients) that you care about more than the bottom line. Linking to your chosen charity or non-profit will help them raise their profile too.  Connect with local journalists through social media.  This is solid way in to traditional media coverage as well.

Maybe your company is doing something unique that may put you out of your comfort zone.  Typically you do serious interviews about your serious business.  But your brilliant in-house communications or HR teams have come up with something fun to motivate employees that could get a mention by local media.  If you are the face of the company, why not be interviewed about the fun stuff too? Of course you'll want to make sure employees are interviewed as well.  Some examples of in-house fun that could generate external interest:

  • Lunch-time dances for employees to encourage them to focus on physical fitness and mental health. 
  • A weekend read-a-thon.  Your company is stimulating employees' minds and donating books to kids too.
  • Your employees have hidden talents and like showcasing them at the annual talent show.  Typically, this would be just for staff.  But this good-natured fun could make for a cute news kicker on a weekend newscast, great social media posts or a sensational video.

News coverage is typically very heavy.  Newscasts are full of natural and manmade disasters, political discord, international tensions, and lots of bad or sad news.  But never underestimate the power of "good news."  These are the stories that people remember and share.  And sometimes the news is bumped up to a higher position in a newscast.  You need to be proactive about letting the media know about your good news.  Medical centers and hospitals are great at alerting the media about new advances at their facilities.  A rare procedure or new cutting-edge technology becomes a story that can lead a newscast.

Some companies don't even think about getting media coverage in good times.  It's not until a crisis occurs and reporters are pouncing that they think about media coverage.  That's a shame because positive coverage can lift employee morale and create buzz about your company.   Use social and traditional media to your advantage.

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