What It Takes for Brands to Break Through with Lifestyle Press
At Prosek, we often say that we’re an agency that “brings the fabulous to finance.”
All jokes aside, many financial service companies, especially those in wealth management, banking, and insurance, want to reach consumers directly but 1) don’t know how to capture their attention and 2) don’t know how to do so authentically and impactfully.
Recently, we held an event to bring together some of the brightest minds and leaders in the consumer media space. There, we had the pleasure of hosting Lee Woodruff, New York Times best-selling author and contributing journalist to ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’; Gisela Pérez, producer for Gayle King, ‘CBS Mornings’; and Abby Kalicka, director of communications at Penske Media Corporation and former editor across Hearst titles.
Together, we discussed how brands, especially those in industries that are traditionally misclassified as complicated, niche or “boring” have and continue to successfully capture the interest of lifestyle media and consumers, many of whom don’t live and breathe finance the way we do.
Here are the top takeaways from our expert panelists:
- For years, data was a hook. Now, data is table stakes. Real-life stories, trends, and the ability to offer people living those stories and trends for interviews is the difference between an unanswered pitch and coverage. If you’re offering data, explore how to bring it to life with a relatable / human-interest connection (i.e., a 3rd party voice/advocate) who embodies the trend the data is pointing to, along with the expert / spokesperson.
When preparing for the interview…
- “Winging it” and “interview” are two words that should never be used in the same sentence. The biggest mistakes spokespeople make are not practicing and overtalking. What you leave out is just as important as what you leave in. Spokespeople who embrace the power of the period are the ones that journalists go back to, listeners/readers relate to, and PR people can feel confident in.
When it comes to broadcast…
- Don’t neglect the live stream. It’s easy to get caught up in the gravitas of a traditional broadcast segment. And yet, every major network now has a 24/7 digital streaming platform they are heavily invested in, and these platforms are often untapped by experts and PR pros.
- Shrinking budgets and staff have made it more challenging for crews to travel to capture interesting visuals for segments. When pitching a segment, being able to share the full package, including B-roll, helps. Just make sure that B-roll is not overly promotional.
- Your source needs a broadcast portfolio. If they haven’t been on TV before, make sure there are clips of them speaking publicly available. A recorded panel, a LinkedIn video, or an on-stage speaking engagement are all fair game.
Don’t forget about, it’s all about the fundamentals…
- On any given day, a producer, editor, or reporter can receive up to 500 pitches. If you don’t know the reporter’s name, what show they’re on or responsible for, what time it airs, or what their general beat is, your pitch will be cast aside (and rightfully so!)
- PR folks and sources are often eager to set up relationship-building conversations with reporters, producers, and editors—but they get cold feet if it means they have to travel outside of a ten-block radius. Make it easy for the media to meet with you by going to them. Even if that means a trek to Brooklyn, Jersey or the ‘burbs.