Your story sources are right in front of you every day. They come from hot client issues, life events, and industry trends.
Hot client issues: elder care, investing an inheritance, buying out a partner, buying a new business, changing tax laws
Life events: weddings, births, college, first home, retirement
Market-driven events: market run-ups and turndowns, investment sector falling out of favor
Hot business issues: technological innovation, contract employees, state push for adviser registration
Take two to five minutes a day to write down a several-word description of each client's call or visit.
Mention any industry trends and any peculiarly difficult issues you resolved for your clients.
At the end of the week or month, categorize these questions and concerns. Notice any patterns. Expand on unusual, interesting issues.
Repackage them into vibrant story ideas.
Tip: Once a good story, always a good story! Don't throw away a good idea just because the media are not yet interested. Keep it, wait, and watch for the "media opening." Then send in your story. Your timely voice will be welcome.
Make a list, such as the "Top 10 Keys to Success in Retirement Planning"
Call your metropolitan newspaper, radio, or TV station.
Ask for the reporter covering personal finance on your specific subject.
Tell them you want to send a fax on ways to make the national story in The Wall Street Journal locally relevant.
Write a case study that explains the success of a project.
Use your local business contacts to get local business reporters to cover the story.
Save articles with the date and any artwork intact.
Get reprint permission from editor or producer.
Write a letter to national publications that cover job training issues.
Include the case study and the local publicity in your pitch letter.
Call targeted media outlets and request their media kits.
Check special sections list and editorial and advertising deadlines.
Get copies of old special sections. Start writing your story.
Identify and add reporters to your target media list.