New stories form the basis of most PR activities and are a great way to raise the profile of a business, whether it’s an anniversary, milestone, award or client win or a new staff appointment.
Often, however, a business might not have anything newsworthy to talk about – so what happens when you have a news drought?
Firstly, don’t panic. PR isn’t just about news, it’s about looking at all avenues to help continue that flow of coverage and increase brand awareness. A PR professional is trained to think outside the box and find ways to reach a clients’ key target media and ensure that they are still hitting the headlines – even if it’s not news.
OUR TOP IDEAS TO HELP GENERATE PROACTIVE COVERAGE
UP YOUR PROFILE
Raise the profile of a key senior person within your business. Profile opportunities can range from Meet the MD/ Boss, A Coffee With, A Day in the Life or 5 Minutes With, focusing on the achievements of that individual, as well as an opportunity to shout out about the company they operate or work for.
LET’S GET PERSONAL
PR doesn’t always have to be business related. Delve into the personalities of the business and find quirky stories or hobbies. Does the CEO like to bungee jump or the HR Director like fly-fishing? Does the founder of the business have an interesting story to tell about how they built up the business or even a unique leadership style? There are lots of personal focused profile opportunities that help show the ‘real’ people behind the business.
Many publications, especially trade titles, will have regular feature opportunities and always welcome contributors to provide a comment for a wider piece, or a full article written about a particular theme. Research what topics magazines are talking about and when. Forward features list can usually be found on the magazines’ websites, but if not, just pick up the phone and call. Remember most monthly publications will work 6-8 weeks ahead.
Regular opinion and advisory pieces present great opportunities to provide comment, as well as showcases your expertise and knowledge. Why not respond to a newspaper article and send a Letter to the Editor or create a top tips piece to support other businesses within your client’s industry?
HIT THE HEADLINES
If you have no news of your own, try piggy-backing on someone else’s! Monitor the news agenda daily, both nationally and within your key sectors. What are the hot topics? What are people talking about? Try and join the conversation. Find out what specific journalists are talking about and offer a comment or opinion related to the news topic. You’ve got to be quick, otherwise it can become old news.
CREATE YOUR OWN
Commissioning research into your sector, or a survey with key stakeholders are also a great way of creating your own news. You could even host an event or roundtable and invite industry leaders, showcasing the findings to your key sector media.
Why not use this opportunity to drop new journalists a line to introduce the client? It may not generate immediate coverage, but should help further down the line, if they recognise the client and understand what they do and are on their radar for potential comment opportunities in the future.
Don’t be afraid to freshen up old content and give it another lick of paint, even if it’s years old. Does it have a seasonal theme or can you turn a blog into a by-lined article that can be pitched into the media? Could it be tailored to target a different sector media?