It’s The Media’s Job To Tell The Story

I had the privilege of working with a gifted writer and strategist named Steve earlier in my career. He was a former reporter at the Chicago Tribune who was cut from that old-school cloth.

Steve always said what was on his mind, which most clients appreciated. But there were times when a few feathers got ruffled. Steve felt he always spoke the truth so it wasn’t his problem that some got bent out of shape.

Something he would typically say when clients would be speaking about how awesome their organization was and how every reporter should be covering them:

It’s the media’s job to tell the story, not just yours.

Again, most appreciated his candor (which was the truth). Others had a tougher time getting past their bias.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s not all about you.

Typically, a reporter must have a minimum of three sources to a story, hopefully you’re one of them.

For example, let’s say your nonprofit is launching a new program for youth who are dealing with childhood obesity and the challenges they face. In addition to you, they may also talk to a parent about the struggles they face in trying to raise a healthy child, an obese youth about peer pressures and bullying, a medical professional about nutrition, and maybe a teacher about what he sees in the classroom and on the playground.

Okay, maybe four sources. The point is this: Media are looking to tell the whole story, not just your part of it.

Understanding this will help you think of who those other storytellers (sources) are and how you can help a reporter get in touch with them.

You being helpful in telling the story.

You being relied on as a source in the future.