How Contextualizing Subjects can Result in Press-worthy Content material for Your Model
The creator’s views are completely his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and should not all the time mirror the views of Moz.
Extra manufacturers than ever are investing and producing high quality journalism to drive their earned media technique. They acknowledge that it’s a helpful channel for concurrently constructing authority whereas discovering and connecting with clients the place they devour information.
However producing and distributing nice content material is not any straightforward feat.
At Stacker and our brand-partnership mannequin Stacker Studio, our workforce has mastered the way to create newsworthy, data-driven tales for our newswire. Since 2017, we’ve positioned 1000’s of tales throughout probably the most authoritative information shops within the nation, together with MSN, Newsweek, SFGate, and Chicago Tribune.
Sure approaches have yielded a excessive hit price (i.e., decide up), and one in every of our most profitable ways helps add context to what’s happening on this planet. (I discussed this as a tactic in my Whiteboard Friday, How to Make Newsworthy Content: Part 2.)
Contextualizing subjects, statistics, and occasions serves as a core a part of our content material ideation course of. Immediately, I’m going to share our technique so you possibly can create content material that has actual information worth, and that may resonate with newsroom editors.
Make a listing of info and insights
You doubtless have a listing of common subjects related to your model, however these topic areas are sometimes too common as a launching level for productive brainstorming. Beginning with “private finance,” for instance, leaves virtually an excessive amount of white area to really discover and refine story concepts.
As an alternative, it’s higher to hone in on an upcoming occasion, information set, or explicit information cycle. What’s newsworthy and particularly occurring that’s aligned together with your common viewers?
On the time of penning this, Jack Dorsey lately stepped down as CEO of Twitter. That was breaking information and hardly one thing a model would count on to cowl.
However take the occasion and take a look at contextualizing it. On the whole, what’s the typical tenure of founders earlier than stepping down? What’s the distinction in public market success for founder-led corporations? In regard to Parag Agrawal moving into the CEO position, what’s the proportion of non-white CEOs in American corporations?
As you possibly can see, if you contextualize, it unlocks promising avenues for artistic storyboarding.
Listed here are some inquiries to information this course of.
Query 1: How does this evaluate to comparable occasions/statistics?
Comparability is without doubt one of the handiest methods to contextualize. It’s laborious to know the true affect of a truth when it exists stand alone or in a vacuum.
Let’s contemplate hurricane season for example. There’s a ton of tales round present hurricane seasons, whether or not it’s highlighting the worst hurricanes of all time or getting a way of a selected hurricane’s scope of destruction or affect on a neighborhood.
However we determined to check it one other approach. What if we requested readers to contemplate what hurricane seasons were like the year they were born?
This strategy prompts a private expertise for the readers to check what hurricane seasons are like now in comparison with a extra particular “then” — one which feels significantly related and relatable.
I’ll discuss extra about time-based comparisons within the subsequent part, however you can too evaluate:
Throughout industries/subjects (How a lot injury do hurricanes do in comparison with tidal waves?)
Throughout geographic areas (Which a part of the ocean is answerable for probably the most harmful hurricanes? The place has probably the most injury been accomplished world wide?)
Throughout demographics (Which era is most afraid of hurricanes?)
There are dozens of prospects, so permit your self to freely discover all potential angles.
Query 2: What are the implications on an area stage?
In some instances, occasions or subjects are mentioned on-line with out the small print of how they’re impacting particular person individuals or communities. We’d know what one thing means for a common viewers, however is there a deeper affect or implication that’s not being explored?
Probably the greatest methods to do that is thru localization, which entails taking a nationwide development and evaluating the way it’s mirrored and/or impacts particular areas. Newspapers do that continuously, however manufacturers can do it, too.
For instance, there are numerous tales about local weather change, however taking a localized strategy might help make the phenomenon really feel “nearer to dwelling.”
We put collectively a bit that illustrated significant ways climate change has affected each state (elevated flooding in Arkansas, the Colorado River drying up, sea ranges rising off South Carolina, and so forth.). You would take this a step additional and have a look at a selected metropolis or neighborhood if you happen to had supporting information or analysis.
Should you serve explicit markets, it’s straightforward to implement this technique. Orchard, for instance, does a fantastic job publishing real estate market trend reports within the areas they serve.
However if you happen to’re a nationwide or worldwide model that doesn’t cater to particular areas, attempt utilizing information units which have data for all nations, states, cities, ZIP codes, and so forth., and current all of it, permitting readers to establish information factors that matter to them. When readers can filter information or work together together with your content material, it permits them to have a extra personalised studying expertise.
Query 3: What sides of the dialog have we not absolutely heard but?
The easiest way to faucet into the lacking items of a narrative is to contemplate how different subjects/topic areas work together with that story.
I’ll persist with our local weather change theme. We did the story above on how local weather change has impacted each state, which feels complete concerning the subject, however there’s extra to dive into.
Outdoors of simply considering how local weather change is impacting geographic areas, we requested ourselves: How is it affecting completely different industries?
Now we take a look at a extra particular angle that’s fascinating — how climate change has impacted the wine industry.
When you’ve gotten a subject and need to uncover less-explored angles, ask your self a set of questions that’s just like the evaluate/distinction mannequin:
How does this subject affect completely different areas? (E.g. What’s wine’s cultural position in numerous nations?)
How does this subject affect completely different demographics of individuals? (E.g. Who earnings most from wine making?)
How does this subject affect completely different industries? (E.g. How have wineries/vineyards impacted tourism?)
How is that this subject impacted by these numerous issues? (E.g. How is the flavour of wine impacted by area? Who buys probably the most wine, and the place do they reside?)
This could create a very good brainstorming basis to establish fascinating hooks that aren’t usually explored a few actually widespread subject.
Not solely will taking the strategy of contextualizing differentiate your story from every little thing else on the market, it would additionally assist you to re-promote it when an analogous occasion happens or the subject traits once more sooner or later. Contextualized content material is commonly this good mix of timeliness and evergreen that’s actually tough to realize in any other case.