Using Customer Pain Points to Tell Your Story

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You want to tell your story, but you just don’t know how. How do you grab the journalist’s attention and make them say “Wow, this is a story I have to cover!”?

First, let me tell you what you don’t do. You can’t bore the journalist into becoming interested in your story by telling him all the technical features of your products and services. And you can’t use the Billy Mays infomercial salesman approach to get their attention either because they aren’t in the business of running advertisements to their readers … Ahh, their readers.

You need to have a story their readers can relate to. And what better way to do this than by focusing your story on the common pain points everyone can relate to? Pain points are those things that your audience hates and that you have a solution for.

Let me give you a few examples.

  • Amazon offer frustration-free packaging – If you’ve ever purchased a gadget that comes in one of those impossible-to-open plastic shells, you know just how frustrating it can be. You have to find scissors, a knife, a box cutter, or something dangerously sharp just to get the dang thing open. This is a huge hassle, and it’s a common pain point for consumers. That’s why Amazon recently introduced frustration-free packaging for some products. These packages are quick and easy to open, and they’re more environmentally friendly.
  • Commerce Bank creates new banking hours – Isn’t it kind of annoying that banks are only open whenever you’re at work? Commerce Bank thought so, and they decided to do something about it. They broke away from the traditional banking hours by keeping their branches open into the evenings and all through the weekends. Customers loved this fresh approach to banking. Now that’s an interesting story.
  • ING offers a simplified home loan – Early last year, ING was running a promotion where they offered a simplified home loan that made it easy for buyers to understand what they were signing. This two-page document was designed to make contracts simpler and more friendly. Admittedly, I’m not sure if the promotion was successful, but the fact that it addressed a common pain point got it a lot of coverage in the media (including a feature piece in Business Week.)

So, what’s my point? The point is you need to take a step back, determine which pain points your products and services address, and base your pitch around that because that’s the story that will grab journalists and readers’ attention.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit:

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