How To Do PR STEP 3 — Refining Your Story

Katie Coates, The PR Secrets
2 min readOct 23, 2019


What makes your story interesting, educational, entertaining, or helpful?

Today’s post is about refining your story and pitch.

Media relations is one arm of Public Relations. And it’s a method of obtaining leverage that can give you lasting marketing returns well beyond your initial investment of time or money.

Here’s the thing: usually, people pitch the story they want to tell.

Nobody cares about your story BUT everybody cares about stories that are educational, entertaining, or make people’s lives better.

If you want to get coverage of your topic, you need to create a story that will interest the readers of the outlet you are targeting to pick up your story. This means doing your research and customizing your story to fit your target writer.

Here are nine different criteria to assess to see if your story will resonate with your target writer:

  1. Timeliness: Is your story topical, given what’s going on right now? Check out the headlines in Google News to find out what people are talking about.
  2. Impact: Does your story speak to a lot of people?
  3. Prominence: Does your story feature a prominent person or issue?
  4. Proximity: Are you targeting local news outlets for a local story that is of interest to the people in that location?
  5. Bizarreness: Is your story weird, or just plain out there? Will it get people talking?
  6. Conflict: Are you standing up for something? Or providing a conflicting viewpoint to a popular opinion?
  7. Uniqueness: Are you doing something others haven’t done?
  8. Human Interest: Can you find someone to talk about your issue and put it into human terms?
  9. Mass Appeal: Are a lot of people searching for information on your topic and can you find a different angle to approach the topic from?

Figure out what makes YOUR story unique, interesting, entertaining, educational, or helpful. These are your differentiating factors. They are what you will “sell” to your targeted media outlets when you pitch your story.

Next time, we’ll be talking about HOW you’ll pitch your story.

If you’re looking for a new way to get media coverage, check out my press release distribution service that gets you an “As Seen On…” banner for your page, social media profile…or anyplace else you can use one!