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Eleven approaches to rustling up news stories

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a talk to start-up businesses at Northern Lights, UCLAN on ‘an introduction to PR’. It was a pleasure to meet such dynamic and inspiring entrepreneurs.

However, whilst I was preparing my presentation, I found myself thinking “what can I say about my business area that could possibly be of interest to someone else?”   But what a thing to think.  I had fallen into the same trap that many of my clients find themselves in. “There’s nothing newsworthy about my firm” they claim, when I know full well that they’ve just won masses of work, doubled office space, invented a new widget etc.  The fact is that sometimes we are just too close to our own businesses to work out what the news actually is.

Despite my reservations, I must have done something right at my talk, because the feedback very positive.  And I’m certain that’s how your own information will be received. So I thought some approaches to finding the interesting, newsworthy aspects of your own business might be of use.

Have a think about what you might tell a friend if they asked you to talk about the positive things that happened this week at work. Do any of these strike a chord…?

  • You’ve won new business/clients
  • You’ve developed new services/products
  • Have  you taken on staff?
  • Moved to new premises?
  • Taken the decision to change direction – whether in business or in your private life (if it’s relevant and you’re happy to talk about it)
  • Can you talk about delighted customers? What was it that made them so satisfied?
  • Is your company growing? Celebrate it! What about special anniversaries in business?
  • Is your team taking part in any charity fundraising?

It’s true that on occasion, there really does seem  nothing positive to talk about. Assuming you are still required to talk about business, just conversationally you might go on to explain –

  • Your opinion on the economy/affect of topical issues on your business ie. weak pound/ driver shortages/ government directives/ fuel prices etc. – how have you overcome it or is it a real challenge?
  • You might discuss the most frequent questions your customers ask. Could you turn that into a general information piece?
  • There might even be a trend that you’ve spotted which is of interest. Like this amazing graph from Canadian water utility company.

Of course, this is just a start to delving around for positive stories which will make news items. Sure, maybe you don’t immediately have something which will grab the media, but you can be pretty certain that if they’re on your website, they’ll be read.

So what’s your week been like?

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