Have you ever met an old friend, and they ask “so, what have you been up to, since we last met?” … and your mind goes blank? Clearly, you reason, in the intervening 2 years or so, something of note must have happened. But for the life of you, you can’t recall it. So you mention the hassle you’ve had that morning. Or a mutual friend.
Well, that’s what happens when businesses try to think about what news they have. Faced with the question “so, what successes have you had recently”, the immediate reaction is ‘Nothing. No news. We don’t do PR, because we’ve got nothing happening”. Or it might be ‘news’ like ‘”we’ve got a new accounts system” or “Half the office are off sick.”
This is quite normal. We’re all far too close to what’s happening to even think about it as being of any interest to others. We’ve worked on our new business, or planned that holiday, for too long to even think that someone else might not have heard about it.
But given time to chat and reflect, the real news usually comes slowly into mind. And rather like the child who has masses to tell you at bedtime, the news from the businesses we work with, usually happens at the close of a meeting. When you’ve packed up, when you’re just about to reach the door. “Oh” they’ll say “Did I mention our £500K order?” or “That new machine’s looking good now” or “I forgot to tell you about the new trucks”…
‘Now that’s news’ I think, as I unpack my notepad. I call it the door knob effect. Just as you reach it, just as you turn off the tape, just at the end of the conversation.
And always be prepared to make the most of it. Because thats when the real gems of news emerge.
Next blog will look at ten great questions to help get those news angles.