Remember the Barbra Streisand song from the 70’s…
Evergreen?

 
One of the lines from that song is…’Fresh as the morning
air…’

 
Well, ‘evergreen’ means something completely different to
news people.

 
Evergreen stories are NOT fresh. In fact, they’re story
ideas that sit in a file, sometimes for weeks or even
months. They only get pulled out on slow news days when very
little else is happening.

 
‘Oh, my evergreen file,’ says former TV assignment editor
Frank Guerra of San Antonio.. ‘It was often my best friend.’

 
‘Evergreen’ stories are stand-alone stories that can run
almost anytime. They generally don’t have a news ‘hook–‘
in other words, there’s no natural or timely connection to
something else that’s going on. But on quiet days,
reporters, producers, and editors reach for their evergreen
files to help fill time and space with interesting-but-not-
urgent material.

 
Evergreen stories offer tremendous potential for free
publicity to anyone looking to promote themselves, their
company, or their web site.

 
According to Guerra, founding partner at Guerra, DeBerry
and Coody Advertising and Media Relations in San Antonio,
here are some rules that will increase your chances of
success with evergreens.

 
*They should be interesting to a large number of people.
Usually medical, financial, or consumer-oriented items
fall into this category. New technology rates high–
anything that saves people time and aggravation, or
describes a trend showing what the future will be like. Pure
human interest stories also make good evergreens.

 
*Be prepared to offer someone who’s a living example of
whatever you’re talking about. They don’t have to give a
glowing testimonial, but they should be prepared to tell how
they’ve benefited from your product, service or web site.

 
*Make sure you can offer visuals, graphics, photo-ops, etc,
depending on whether you’re dealing with electronic or print
media.

 
Frank also offers a few words of caution to anyone who wants
to offer evergreens to the media.

 
*Make sure you (or someone familiar with your business) will
be available when called upon. All it takes is one ‘non-
response’ and you may have to work very hard to get a second
chance.

 
*Make sure you or your representative knows what the
particular medium needs. TV needs quick, punchy sound
bites…radio needs someone good at language skills who can
draw pictures in the listener’s mind…newspapers need
someone with a depth of knowledge that stretches well beyond
the superficial.

 
TV stations are especially big on hype, pounding you with
mantras like ‘Live!!! Local!!! Late breaking!!!’ But the
truth is, there are plenty of days when their newscasts
offer little or none of those things.

 
And that gives you great opportunity to get free publicity
with a couple of helpful, well-conceived evergreen stories.

 


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services than ever — and maybe even make yourself famous in
the process.
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