How to get global coverage

Written by Jana Cave-Ayland

If you have attended one of our amazing Storytelling Academies, you will know that one of the key messages we emphasise is that great and powerful stories translate across languages and cultures. Earlier this month, we set out to test this hypothesis in practice.

We’ve worked with our client over four months to develop an appealing storyline, substantiated by a global research from our sister company Arlington and told through written press content, infographics, a brand-new microsite, and videos. All in all, a strong media package and a story that we were keen to get out there.

As with anything, even during media sell-in you need to be in the right place at the right time to up your chances of success. To be in the right place, we have been perfecting our media list for about the same time as we’ve been working on the storyline and supporting collateral. It has taken some painstaking long hours searching through media databases and on the internet to finalise the list, but the result was near perfect.

Moving onto stage two and learning from our previous experience, we knew that to get journalists’ attention, we needed to catch them on the phone rather than rely on email. But what do you do, when the people you want to talk to are based all over the world? You bite the bullet and schedule in a few night shifts!

Imagine the dinner is over, you’ve finished your evening’s TV show and it’s time to go to sleep, but instead you get up and go back to the office. Trying to persuade your natural body clock that 11.30pm is the new 9am can lead to a peculiar state of delirium when all of a sudden Chinese seems like a familiar language and quantum physics makes complete sense.

Once you crack how country calling codes work, the thrill of trying to understand someone whose English may only be the third or fourth language they’ve learnt keeps you wide awake even at the early morning hours. We’ve had some hilarious conversations trying to get hold of a certain journalist only to find out after 20 minutes of unintentionally mispronouncing their name that they aren’t even in the office!

Our bodies may not thank us for the caffeine overdose and regular 3am McDonald’s lunches (?) but our coverage book looks fantastic. We were able to secure top-tier coverage by going the extra mile to get our story in front of the right people at a time when they are most likely to listen and then let it speak for itself.

We have once again proved that language barriers are no match to stories which are relatable, topical and show the right degree of drama. The coverage from China, India, Turkey, South Africa, and the UK are the best evidence we can give you – just don’t ask to see our phone bill…