Enhance Your Race & Culture Beat with Story Ideas that Reach Beyond Black History Month
It’s Black History Month.
While February’s celebration offers some time to revisit history and seek out new angles, there are a myriad of opportunities, stories and accomplishments by the Black community throughout the year.
You want your stories to be unique.
Luckily, you have a place to go for fresh content, leads, and interview opportunities: Start by using the advanced search tool on PR Newswire for Journalists (PRNJ) and find that story gem that no one else is telling.
Here are four ways to enrich your stories on race, diversity, culture, and issues that affect both men and women — all year round.
1. Feed the conversation on Black Twitter.
If you want to reach African-American millennials, Black Twitter is key to growing your audience. To feed the conversation, see the campaigns that are gaining ground on social.
Many companies and nonprofits regularly will use hashtags in their news releases to drive engagement around a particular event or mission. There are a few ways to find them.
In the keyword section, a quick search for the phrase “Black History Month” will pull up a number of interesting news releases, some of which incorporate hashtag campaigns, like #BlackExcellence, #CodeAFuture, and #InspiringWomanPBS.
A simple combined search of the subject “African-American News” paired with the keyword “campaign” uncovered a few great stories, too. Releases include Scholastic’s deal to publish an activism book by the 12-year-old #1000BlackGirlBooks founder, and an Allstate campaign highlighting modern-day African Americans whose stories are #WorthTelling.
2. Search for specific story angles.
If you work for a niche publication — or are looking to focus deeper on a particular topic — a combined search will help narrow down the news.
For example, say you want to look into awards in the Black community. A combined search of the subject “African-American News” paired with the keyword “award” will produce a range of stories:
- Despite Modest Gains, Women and Minorities See Little Change in Representation on Fortune 500 Boards
- Oprah Winfrey Becomes a Special Contributor to 60 Minutes
- Dominion Resources and the Library of Virginia Honor Seven African-American ‘Strong Men & Women in Virginia History’
The Chinese New Year also is in February. Thinking of this and other upcoming theme-months (Women’s History and Asian Pacific American Heritage month are both coming soon), you can test several combinations to tailor the news to your beat. The keyword phrase “Chinese New Year” paired with the industry “Travel” drew these pieces:
- Shanghai Disney Resort Marks its First Chinese New Year with Guests from Home and Abroad
- Huangling Welcomes Year of the Rooster with Gigantic Chili Pepper Installation
And a combined search of industry “Computer/Electronics” and subject “Women-related News” produced gems like these:
- New Cornell Certificate Provides Women Essential Framework and Negotiation Tools to Break Through Barriers to Leadership Success
- Getty Images and Refinery29 Expand Content Partnership with the Launch of The No Apologies Collection
- CyberVista Launches First-of-its-Kind Initiative to Increase Diversity in the Cybersecurity Field
3. Find stories in your community and abroad.
To think outside of the box, you may want to cast a wide net to find news outside the US, or slim down your search to highly localized areas.
For example, if you regularly cover Native American news, you may want to see what’s going on in Canada.
A subject search on “Native American News” paired with a geography selection of “United States” and “Canada,” brought up news like the drafting of the Government of Quebec’s Aboriginal social development action plan.
In contrast, a subject search on “Native American News” combined with a geography selection of “West/Southwest” (North America -> United States -> West/Southwest) pulled stories like the historic Cobell settlement and the 25-year business agreement between the New Mexico’s Acoma Pueblo and company Bright Green.
If you want to go local, try using a city or town of interest combined with a subject selection (e.g. Hispanic, African American, Asian American, Native American, Women’s Interest).
For instance, a keyword search of “Harrisburg” combined with the subject “African-American News” will give you city-specific news like this trailblazer exhibit returning to the Pennsylvania Capitol after a seven-year hiatus.
4. Gain access to the right people to feed a series of stories.
Sometimes just writing one story on a specific topic isn’t enough to satisfy your audience.
Many stories are so captivating that they may lead to other story ideas or even a series of stories. One of the benefits of a free PRNJ membership is that you get access to media contacts and other insider information for follow up.
Let’s say you cover entertainment news and you want to schedule an interview with a celebrity as a next step. An industry selection of “Entertainment” paired with multicultural subjects pulled up these releases, complete with full contact information (Remember: You may need to be logged in to your account to access the full contact info):
- Multi-Platinum Recording Artist NE-YO to Perform at the 2017 Honda Battle of the Bands
- National Pork Board and Heartthrob Carlos Ponce Bring ‘El Sabor de Hoy’ to Latinos
- “La piñata mágica,” Ismael Cala’s new, bilingual children’s book about the joy of sharing
- WomenHeart & Burlington Stores Team up with Kelly Rowland to #KnockOutHeartDisease in Women
Finally, don’t forget about the ProfNet tool. Here you can submit queries to get experts on any range of topics for your race and culture every day of the year. Our sister site, HARO, is a great resource, too.
Want to get started? It takes only a couple moments to register for our media services at prnmedia.prnewswire.com. If you have questions or would like to learn more about any of our Multicultural releases, you can reach out to Jessica.Alas@prnewswire.com
Jessica Alas is multicultural audience director with PR Newswire. Follow her at @alasjessica. Anna Jasinski is an audience relations manager with PR Newswire. Follow @annamjasinski or check out her latest on Beyond Bylines.