Creating an interesting news angle is a great way to make your business newsworthy to the media.
Pure Public Relations founder Phoebe Netto explains five ways to make your business stand out to the media, even when you don’t know what makes your brand inherently special.
Hi, my name is Phoebe Netto, and I’m the founder of Pure Public Relations, and I’m going to give you five ways to make your business interesting to the media, even if it doesn’t seem very newsworthy or exciting.
Positive media coverage is a powerful way of letting people know about your business and making them perceive it in a certain way. But what if your business is not obviously newsworthy? Or what if your business has already had its moments of newsworthy coverage and the buzz is now over? Or what if your competitors are dominating the media space? How are you going to secure ongoing media coverage?
Media relations requires that you give the media newsworthy information with an interesting angle. If your message is something that you would normally use an advertisement to say, for example, announcing that your business is having a sale or that you’re better than your competitors, then this is not newsworthy in itself. So what can you do? Create your own news.
If your business is not automatically newsworthy, then you can create an interesting angle. It simply requires putting yourself in the shoes of a journalist and their audience and thinking about what they would find enjoyable or helpful to read, hear, or watch. Some examples of newsworthy angles that you might be able to adopt for your business are using research findings.
Can you conduct research in the form of a credible survey, for example, on an interesting subject that is relevant to your area of expertise? If you don’t have the budget to do this, can you use new research that is publicly available, such as from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Make sure that the research is still relevant to your subject matter, and then make it newsworthy.
This could be contributing interesting commentary on the issue, or offering another perspective. You can also use the research to add weight to what you are pitching to the media, and newly released research at timeliness to a media pitch that would otherwise not give a journalist a reason to care. Today, the most interesting research findings indicate change or trends, unusual or surprising facts, proximity to big issues, or a big-scale impact.
Another way is to be the first, new, record-breaking, latest, greatest, or only. Have you noticed that these sorts of stories are always in the media? Whether it is setting a new world record, launching the fastest version of something, or being the first to do something, these angles have a good chance of getting noticed.
If you can be creative, you might be able to create news or stage a stunt that grabs attention. One trick that we use for our clients every day, is to leverage current media stories, and multiple reporters writing about a similar issue that happens to be relevant to you or your customers, then you may be able to provide a case study relevant to the issue, or be a source that can be interviewed on the subject.
For example, I’ve recently been interviewed and have written articles for publications about how a business or a school should respond to a positive case of COVID-19. If you are a psychologist, you can respond to reports of increased strain on relationships during lockdown.
When there is an awareness day that relates to your business, you can provide expert commentary on that topic. So if you are a cybersecurity expert, you can respond to reports of large-scale hacking in Australia and share advice or explain what it all means. In a cabinet reshuffle, can you offer your opinion on how it will affect businesses in your industry? Or perhaps you can reference this as a reason for your story or advice being topical. Has a journalist recently written about an issue relevant to your business, but you weren’t included? If so, a follow-up story with a new twist or different angle might be a possibility.
Another tool you could use to make your own news is to use conflict. If an issue has been debated in the media and in the community, it is more likely to be newsworthy. Maybe people have been debating issues around problems that your organisation solves. This could give you a chance to tell your organisation’s side of the story.
And the fifth way is to see if you have an interesting story to tell. Do you have a compelling startup story? Have you overcome failure? Do you have an interesting recruitment style? Are you doing things differently? There might be a story there that people are interested in hearing about. It is absolutely possible for every business to be made newsworthy if they have something to say. The trick is to find those interesting stories that bring your expertise to the attention of a journalist and ultimately, your potential clients.