What is Story Mining?

If you’re a regular to our blog or website, you know that our team likes to take the time to define some of the most oft-used tactics in our media relations toolbox now and then. (If you’re not, each is available below, and you can subscribe to our blog here.)

One that folks most often shake their heads in confusion over is today’s tactic: story mining.

I know, funny yet catchy name, right?

This is probably my favorite part of the job.  It blends strategic research, relationship-building, writing and interpersonal skills like no other tactic in public relations. Story mining is the dedicated time we PR folks spend with our brand, clients or organization to understand what makes them tick.

At HMA, these are one-on-one meetings and always done in-person. They are done with a pen (or pencil, in my case) and paper, and cell phones are forbidden (unless the client is a parent, in which case the phone can be on vibrate in case of emergencies). They are done with an HMA senior staffer who is adept at asking questions and weaving together a client’s real story in a compelling, respectful way. During the story-mining session, the mission is to glean nuggets about who the client is as a person, how they work, what type of media opportunities suit them best and…the best part…what about them would most interest the target media.

These core “mining sessions” are used to not only develop profile pitches, topical story ideas and the brand story, but can be used to develop speeches for the individual, award nominations, and gauge if the individual would benefit from media training services. Often, the result of mining sessions also lead our team to help develop recommendations on civic, volunteer and charitable partnerships that would best suit the client as well.

Finally, it helps develop a true engaged, trusting relationship between the client and the agency, which – in our experience – almost always takes the partnership to a new (and better) level.

Full Series to Date – The PR Toolbox
What is a story pitch?
What are key messages?
What is a segment sheet?
What is a media advisory?
What is a news release?
What is a photo caption?
What is a deskside media tour?
What is a press conference?
What is an informal media meeting?

Written by
at Feb 13, 2019

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