6. Mind-map as many media coverage ideas as you can think of

Now let’s say you have around 10 to 15 topics. It’s time to start ideating. I do this in a few ways. You may choose another way, but this is what works for me.

Set yourself a timer for each topic, and push yourself to come up with as many ideas as possible.

The key here: Don’t allow yourself time to talk yourself out of an idea, no matter how crazy it sounds at this stage.

By timing yourself you are switching off the part of your brain that logically tries to weed out silly or ridiculous ideas.

Right now we want them all!

I choose to open a new blank google doc and type the ideas out, simply because I type quicker than I write.

7. Select 5 – 8 strong media coverage ideas

You want to end up with around 80+ loose ideas.

Sometimes these are just questions.

Around 90% of these ideas will not be very good, and that’s fine.

We only want five to eight good ones that we can validate further.

Remember, we need to go through the pain of the other 75 bad ideas to get to the five strong ideas. 

8. Validate your media coverage ideas with more data

Now let’s say we have five strong ideas. It’s time to validate them.

We need to do a quick feasibility check.

If the ideas are reliant on data, for example, we need to start searching for the data required, or get a data specialist to find out if the data is there, and to structure it into a format that works for the story.

I tend to do desk research and reflection at this stage: 

  • Is the data available or is there similar data available? 
  • Do the ideas drive an emotional response?