Tag Archives: newsworthy

6 Recent News Stories and 8 Regular Features That Will Keep Media And Public Relations People Off The Air And Out Of Print And What To Do About It

6 Recent News Stories 8 Regular Features.

Thank Goodness for Weekends, Public Affairs Programs, and Slow News Days.

Most news that public relations people are asked to help make is not earth shattering or life changing. Stop protesting; you know it’s true. More often than not, we are asked to help make “soft news” visible. That does not make you (or me) bad or silly or indicate that we lack discernment. It merely acknowledges what we all know to be a fact of life for the modern public relations person.

The media have limited resources and only certain types of stories they want to cover. Take your story to the weekend if you want to get covered!
The media have limited resources and only certain types of stories they want to cover. Take your story to the weekend if you want to get covered!

Soft news comes in lots of forms that include but are certainly not limited to, new product introductions and demonstrations, new location openings, speeches, new brochures, seminars and other promotions. Occasionally there is an issue on which a client wants to air an opinion pro or con about things like red light cameras, building permits, property and sales tax increases or decreases. Regardless of how interesting or not these are to you, the people paying the bills want exposure. When are you likely to not receive any? On days when something dramatic happens and the news cycle is focused on that happening.

Clients and bosses will not be sympathetic when you tell them that what they want covered is not terribly newsworthy. At the same time, you want to collect a fee for your work or stay on the payroll. You have bills to pay too!

Bad Days for Public Relations People

Newsworthy events that sucked the air right out of the office lately were: disturbances in Baltimore, disturbances in Missouri, the Boston Marathon Trial, Hillary Clinton, the German Wings Airline Crash, the ISIS attack in Garland, Texas, etc. If you are planning an event in a larger media market, you can plan on competing for the limited resources of local news reporters with these and similar events. And do not forget the usual reporting on auto crashes, apartment fires, armed robberies, bad weather, good weather, cute animal stories, cute children stories, and sports that clog the airways and fog the minds of viewers/readers/listeners. What does a public relations person do when faced with normal reportage and hard news? If possible, plan to release your news on a typically “soft news day”.

When you wake up on the day of your release/event and the TV is full of some war or rumor of war, explosion, spill, or natural disaster, move your event to a weekend, or holiday. Yes, there are fewer news crews and reporters available on weekends and holidays. There are also fewer stories to cover. So put your story where the others are not, Saturday or Sunday.

Since news resources are scarce, be prepared to visit the local station (TV or radio) with your news and demonstration. If you go there, it frees the assignment editor to send his reporters elsewhere. Most TV stations have long form news programs on Saturday. Use them as avenues for publicity. For radio interviews, use the phone. Phone interviews are easy to record and re-broadcast. They are also easier to book with the producer you will deal with to get on the air.

In conclusion, take your soft news to a softer time of the week, the weekend!

 

 

 

Seven Ways To Leverage News For Blogs

Blogs are the basis of many content marketing strategies.
Blogs are the basis of many content marketing strategies.

Seven Ways To Leverage News For Blogs. One of the reasons people feel intimidated by blogging is because they’re afraid of running out of new topics to write about. Even if you only planned to post once a week, you’d still have to come up with fifty-two ideas. Intimidating? Probably, at least it is for me. And do not think that you can take a bunch of news articles, plunk them on your site and call it a blog. But there is plenty you can do with that news to populate your blog.

Yes, there is likely news about your area of interest that others will be interested in seeing. News is good. I’m not talking about scooping the wire services or breaking a story. More like taking news from the world of whatever you write about and injecting your insight. The first blog to register about an issue will get linked, bring traffic, and get you labeled a “thought leader” along with recognition for how good your site it.

I wrote a post on my blog The Collectors Show (www.collectorsshow.net) about how a well known actor had lost a fortune collecting Beany Babies. There was an 8 minute video about him and I included a link to that in my post. My site traffic exploded one day and I could not figure out why. I found that my blog about Beanies had been posted on a Reddit site about Beanies and the world was making its way to my blog. Cool!

But why should they read wire copy on your blog? The reason for people to come to your blog is to read what you have to say. Because what really matters about your blog is you. With that in mind, here are a few tips:

  1. Be original. Instead of reposting news, add your opinion about it. No one is interested in “reconstituted” news but will be interested in seeing what you think, questions you have and what the moral of the story is as told through your eyes.
  2. Don’t just copy. Similar to being original, but with a few more specifics. It makes me mad to see when someone lifts my copy, puts it on their site and calls it their own. You would be similarly annoyed. But, if you want to use someone else’s material, use quotes and attribution. Instead of ripping someone off and making them mad, they will feel flattered that you thought enough of them to use and cite them.
  3. Find a news story about your area and blog about it. Tell the readers why you chose this topic, why it is important, a point of view or opinion from you that others could potentially benefit from or even disagree with. Advancing discourse and exchanging ideas are a big reason to blog. If you do not know enough about something to have opinions that draw attention, you should reconsider the idea of blogging.
  4. Be timely. According to my hero, David Meerman Scott, reacting quickly to breaking news in your blog or twitter may earn you the rewards of “a bonanza of media attention” which will also make you more credible, attract more readers etc.
  5. Be a news junkie. Listen to news stations and channels, interviews, podcasts and NPR. Read a daily newspaper. And get into feeds. Lots and lots of feeds. RSS feeds enable you to scan headlines from sources you would likely not come across in the course of a regular day.
  6. “Dig” a little deeper. To find the hidden, unique, cool, hip and trending use social bookmark sites like Digg. Social bookmarking is a service which allows individuals to share sites that they’ve bookmarked. Similar to services like Google Alerts, the key here is the keyword list you generate, as the right list will generate the right kind of news and sites that people are tagging and bookmarking. While many social bookmarking sites double as “news” sites, given how they popularize and list the top sites that have been bookmarked, just like Technorati, you can search for keywords, and follow the result in your feed reader. Unlike Technorati, however, it tracks more than blogs. And unlike Google Alerts, however, it tracks more than just the news. People will bookmark anything. Pictures, video, articles, corporate websites, frequently asked questions, and much more besides. Using a social bookmarking tool to help you discover “stuff” really broadens your search, but you’ll also be able to find a great many hidden gems, particularly if use your keywords intelligently.
  7. Don’t give up. Some days after I have read and listened to a whole lot of stuff with nothing obvious for me to write about something will come to mind. I think that is the definition of creativity. Your brain is working on sifting, collating, editing and reformatting information even when you are not aware of it. Trust your brain. It knows more than it’s saying. At least at the moment.

After all of this remember that the most important part of your blog is you.

Eight Newsworthy Topics For Your Press Announcements

Eight Newsworthy Topics For Your Press Announcements.

Writing releases and finding topics takes practice, but can be done.
Writing releases and finding topics takes practice, but can be done.

So, what do I write about?

With the media list built for free from on line resources and the steps for constructing a release known to you it is time to get down to writing that first release. But what should you write about? That question gets asked a lot. The things that you see as routine and well known may be both of those things to you and your colleagues. But there is a planet full of people who could benefit from you and your expertise that never heard of you or know the first thing about what you can do. Those are the people to write for. Here is a list of newsworthy topics to consider.

  1. Events are newsworthy. Events are occurrences that are punctuated by a noteworthy happening that is not routine, and there are a lot of them for you to write about. The event you write about for your business does not have to be a cosmic spectacular to garner the attention of editors, reporters and bloggers. Routine happenings can be positioned as news with the right perspective.
  2. Tradeshows are newsworthy. Exhibiting at a tradeshow (which is an event) is news to the members of the media who will travel to and cover the show and to your prospective customers and clients you want to meet with while there. In you press release, tell the media that you will be exhibiting, what the booth number is, hours of the show, and any other business themed data you will emphasize. Is there a new product you are introducing at the show? Sounds newsworthy to me.
  3. New product introductions are newsworthy. I used to wait to do new product roll-outs at tradeshows because (at least at the larger events) there were plenty of reporters there who were looking for something newsworthy to report. But if you are not attending trade events of any type or size, the new product introduction is “money” when it comes to press coverage. Always have a color photo and caption to accompany the new product release. Releases with photos are more likely to get read, and ultimately published. You want that. If you are introducing a service or something that is not geared for photos, you will have to be a little creative. Photos of people are interesting, so if you can deliver a picture with people using, learning about or engaged with your service in some way then do that. Only bad news releases should not have a photo.
  4. New literature is newsworthy. Particularly if your market is business-to-business and technical, the offer of a free brochure, white paper or position document via a press release will be published as part of on line news stories and in traditional trade journals. Most of these have sections devoted to “new literature” and will be happy to report news about your new piece of literature.
  5. Promotions and hiring is newsworthy. I am sure you have seen these articles in newspapers, business and trade journals. If someone in your company was recently hires and/or promoted, consider a short release about them and their new position. Of course a photo of the person is practically mandatory.
  6. Records and achievements are newsworthy. Whether you made and surpassed a safety goal, sales amount, recycling record, most pints of blood donated ever, best month of production/sales/deliveries, energy saved, water recycled etc. are all newsworthy. These all fall under that “routine” that everyone at work knows about, and that is fine. But you are trying to build up a brand and business that all the people who do not work do not know about and do not find routine at all.
  7. Doing something new with an existing product, technology or service is always newsworthy. The prescription medicine known as Vyvanse is prescribed for the treatment people of ADD and/or ADHD. Recently, researchers announced that it was also effective treating people who struggle with binge eating disorders and made an announcement about it. This was quite a discovery. What discoveries like this are there in your business? More than you think. You can open up whole new markets like this and show the world how gifted and creative you and your people.
  8. New branch, office, plant openings. Nothing calls for a press release more than a ribbon and a big pair of scissors. Make the most of these events with a press release. Good news like this does not come along every day. If you miss the chance to pose with those big scissors you suffer lost business. A missed opportunity to put a good foot forward like this is an unforced error. Do not be guilty of missing this opportunity.

I am sure there are plenty more examples of what are considered newsworthy by reporters, bloggers, editors and most importantly the reading, listening viewing public. I can say that I have written releases from all 8 of the examples above and 3rd party media covered them all. All these releases about “minor” news happening swill add up and before long, lots of people and potential customers will know who you are and be calling you.

To get help with a media list just for you and your business, click here http://mediandpublicrelations.com/affordable-customized-media-list-for-you-and-your-business/ and send me the form. Easy!