Can a PR team really “make news”?

Sometimes, in spite of your best intentions, business occasionally seems to hit a slow period. You may feel as though there isn’t much to talk about with your PR program, and be tempted to go dark.  Well, our advice is, “Don’t do it!” This is when your communications should be working hardest on your behalf.

A good PR partner will look beyond the news your company can generate at the present time, and identify opportunities that will get you out in front of your target audiences. We call it “partnering” with our clients and it is how we keep them in the spotlight throughout the year.

The following are five thought-starters to help get the creative juices flowing. If your communications team isn’t generating this sort of brainstorming, it may be time to find new partners!

  1. Inserting yourself into the existing news cycle – Do you make a product or provide a service that fits naturally into coverage that occurs every year at this time? For example, if you run a shelter program, and your area is facing record low temperatures, now is the time for your PR team to swing into PRO-action.
  2. Commenting on third-party data as an entree into the story – Has the government just released data on a medical condition that your device treats? An industry trade association polled members for their opinion? Here’s a chance to get in front of journalists who will cover this, with additional, proprietary information, expert commentary, or more insight into the subject
  3. Leadership expertise/Industry POV – Many trade outlets are eager to accept well-written by-line articles from top management in the industry they serve. Do you have business tips to offer your peers? A hot-button issue you feel strongly about? A war-story you’ve long wanted to share that others can benefit from? There may be an audience for that, and a good PR team can identify opportunities to get your name out there, positioning your management and company as “ones to watch.”
  4. Creating new data to lead your story – Need some facts and figures to carry your angle? Creating data through the use of omnibus surveys can help give you that news hook you need to create genuine news. While a full-blown survey is always a great way to go, a lower-budget option could be tagging a few question onto omnibus surveys that give you genuine, valid data to add news value.
  5. Looking beyond traditional media to find your audience – In addition to news outlets, traditional and online, you may be able to reach a concentrated audience of industry thought-leaders at conferences and seminars. A good PR team can investigate which meetings accept speakers, and help you craft a good application to be considered as a guest speaker. While these type of opportunities rarely pay for your time, you reap the benefit of a great networking opportunity while positioned as a voice of authority in your field.