So, you think you have no news? The truth is you are probably sitting on a goldmine of stories that you didn’t even know you had. Here, we’ve rounded up our top ten story ideas for PR coverage along with real-world examples from our clients.
A warning or ‘call to arms’ can be a particularly powerful means of getting media attention. There are always trends or changes in the technology sector that you can highlight as a potential problem. For example, a security client recently warned of the heightened risk of cyberattack amid the conflict in Ukraine.
The media is full of information that you can comment on. Perhaps there’s been a surge of investment in your region or a breaking news story relating to your sector. Just because you’re not directly involved doesn’t mean you can’t offer comment based on your expertise. The media already knows the story, but they are looking to add colour and nuance based on real people.
3. Contract wins and extensions
New business is good news. Once the ink has dried on the contract, it’s time to share it. Introducing the concept of media relations and PR to your client early in the negotiations will help avoid unnecessary delays in approvals. While you may not have signed any new business in recent weeks, contract extensions are worth sharing too. Perhaps you’ve been signed up for another year or delivered new services to existing clients; either way it demonstrates growth and business development.
4. Data and research-driven stories
You don’t always need to commission an expensive external survey if you have valuable data within your own organisation that could educate or inform the sector. As an example: a company in the security sector regularly monitors threats to IT systems as part of its service. This can be redacted into a report showing trends in the threat landscape which can then be turned into a news story.
Another client even collaborated with the media recently on an investigative piece.
5. New products or enhancements
Announcing new products and services may seem an obvious win but don’t forget to highlight any enhancements or significant updates that improve usability or functionality. They may not seem a big deal to you, but it’s another opportunity to publicise the core product. It also sends out a strong message that you are not resting on your laurels as a business.
6. Case studies
Happy customers willing to share their experience make positive stories for the media. The more facts and figures you have at your disposal the better, so try and encourage participants to divulge the benefits in hard evidence. When working with customers, try to encourage them to tell the whole story, warts and all. No project runs 100% smoothly. Add the details of problems along the way and how they solved them with your help. One advisory on this: make sure your customer is aware of the media rules. That if they give an interview to the press then it’s on the record and they are unlikely to see a draft of the article before it goes to press.
7. Expansion or re-location
Regional publications have segments dedicated solely to local businesses so if you’re relocating to larger premises due to an expanding workforce or entering new markets because of an emerging sales opportunity, then make some noise about it. Remember: local press always want pictures of people so ask them to recommend a local press freelance photographer who will know what sort of images they use.
8. Dates in the diary
There are dates that come about every year worthy of PR. If you’re selling consumer products then big annual events – Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Days – are a prime opportunity for gift guides and product placement. If you’re in cybersecurity, there are several awareness days throughout the year, such as World Password Day, where you could focus on a pressing issue by producing articles or warnings, and present your company as an authority on the matter while promoting your services.
In the last two years, events like trade shows haven’t been around very much but now that we’re in a post-pandemic landscape, they are certainly back and can provide a good focus for press interviews. You can also think about hosting your own event though, like a one day conference. Not only can you get your customers together in one place to build relationships but any keynotes can be news stories. Prep the media in advance to let them know you will be making some statements about an industry trend or, better still, invite them along.
10. People profiles
Your business is your people and there will no doubt be some interesting individuals in your organisation; someone who has a charitable nature, a special interest worth sharing or an apprentice that has won an award. Get to know your staff from the intern to the CEO and you may be surprised with what you find out. Your PR agency should be constantly on the lookout for profile opportunities across the media and will advise you on the best person to put forward.