An old bloke trudging slowly around his back garden does not normally make big news.
 
But one-time World War Two soldier, Tom Moore, has been doing just this – making headlines across Britain and around the world.
 
In the process, he’s acquired hero status.
 
Oh, and he’s raised over £32-million for Britain’s National Health Service at a time of urgent need in the fight against Coronavirus.

And he and the team around him have also demonstrated that they’ve cracked the code on how to make a media splash.

This code is shared lower down.
 

COVID-19 CREATES CHANCES FOR CLEVER CORONA COMMUNICATORS

 
 
Covid-19 has – amidst all its destruction – created new opportunities for free media publicity for those who earn it.
 
This has happened while a lot of the normal news material emanating from traditional sources has not been happening in the usual ways.
 
So there are, and will be, many opportunities for people in business to gain free mainstream media coverage if you play your cards right.
 
This could involve news about any new products or services you’re producing or selling as a result of Coronavirus – or in preparation for the lockdown loosening.
 
It could also involve news about how you’re running your business in a dramatically different way because of shifting conditions.
 
Your potential Corona-focused news could involve anything out-of-the-ordinary that you’re doing to help look after your customers – or members of the public.

Telling the news media – in the right way – how you’re innovating, adapting or doing good things to help fight Covid-19, and/or looking after people in challenging times, can enhance your business profile.
 
The right way to tell the media about what you’re doing could be through crafting a well-worded press release.
 
Or it could be through the right email media notification and/or making the right carefully scripted phone call to the newsroom.
 
It can bring immediate advantages of publicising what you’re up to for the benefit of your customers and prospects.
 
And it can leave your business better placed to ride the success wave later on.
 

SUCCESS THROUGH BETTER MEDIA UNDERSTANDING

 
Understanding how journalists think and work is a vital part of the media profile-building process.
 
This can be gained through sessions on media interview response training set out at:
 
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/media-master-classes/
 
And it can be gained through sessions on “Position Your Business For Free Media Publicity”.
 
These can be run in tailor-made sessions for individual companies – or put on for virtual gatherings of executives through business leaders’ groups.
 
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/workshops-for-business-leaders-groups/
 
Sessions on both these key aspects of media mastery can be run through online and on-the-phone sessions.
 
And, as circumstances permit, they can be run face-to-socially-distanced-face – even if these need to be arranged in unusual places, such as an outdoor private carpark.
 

WHAT MAKES NEWS?

 
A key part of building your ability to master the media involves understanding what makes news – and how you can capitalise on the way news is put together by journalists.
 
Taking a close look at the success of Tom Moore can help bring enlightenment.
 
He and his supporters have shown what you can do if you know what makes news – and you design and project your activities in a way that captures media attention.
 
So congratulations to Tom Moore for:
 
+ Raising so much for the National Health Service – to help them save the lives of the Coronavirus victims – by walking sponsored laps of his garden.
 
+ Promotion to honorary colonel rank due to extraordinary public service
 
+ Turning 100 years old in the process.
 
Colonel Tom’s efforts have even merited a Royal Air Force fly-past – featuring a World War Two Spitfire, left, and a Hurricane, right, to salute him.

 

 

This, of course, generated further positive publicity.

 

 

You can check out the details of the Colonel Tom story – and see the BBC TV report featuring congratulations from Prime Minister Boris Johnson – here:
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-52472132
 
 

YOUR 5 NEWS FACTORS

 
Let’s look at why this story has such media clout – so you can see the kind of factors you can use to generate publicity for anything you’re doing or planning that’s potentially newsworthy.
 
There are 5 key factors which lie behind what makes news at any time.
 
These are based onTRUTH”. Yes really!
 
The media attention-grabbingTRUTHis spelt out below.
 
You don’t have to hit all five factors for your story to make the news.
 
However Colonel Tom Moore’s story does hit the lot – which is why editors go for him.
 
T = Topical: Coronavirus is topical bigtime – so, too, is someone fighting it.
 
R = Relevant: By causing sickness, death and fear, the virus is relevant to everyone everywhere – and, therefore so also, is Colonel Tom’s fund-raising mission.
 
U = Unusual: A man hitting 100 is considered unusual if he does what Colonel Tom’s been doing.
 
T = Trouble: Coronavirus is trouble, as you may have spotted, wherever you live around the world. So Colonel Tom helping to battle the trouble warrants coverage too.
 
H = Human: People are fascinated by people – especially those with a colourful World War Two back story. Enter Colonel Tom who served in India and elsewhere.
 
To plan something newsworthy, studyTRUTH– and see what you are doing, or can do, in order to hit some or all of the news factors it represents.
 
This makes it easier for me to get you and/or your team more media-savvy and interview-fit to get your story out there!
 

HARNESSING THE POWER OF YOUR STORIES

 
There’s more to help fuel your understanding what makes a story stand out – in the media AND in your presentations – in Great Answers To Tough Questions At Work, published by Wiley.
 
The key chapter on this is the third one: “Harnessing The Power Of Stories”.
 
You can have this chapter read to you free online, in a soothing easy-on-the-ear Australian accent, by clicking here:
 

 

Or you can get the whole book version on Amazon by clicking on this book image:

When you know what drives journalists, it’s easier to draw up plans that grab their attention.
 
And when you know how to give great answers to tough – and soft – media questions, you can go into interviews with greater confidence and competence… even if you have to do them on the phone or on Zoom.
 
If you’re doing impressive things in your business under challenging Corona conditions, you can generate hugely valuable news coverage in the process.

And you don’t even have to be 100 years old to make a media splash – as Colonel Tom was only 99 when he started his latest mission.