Publicity for Business

Publicity for business, here we explore how you can get media publicity.

Use real life examples about how your company or organization solved a
problem. Identify the problem and why your solution is the right one — this sets you apart from the rest. Give examples of how your service has satisfied your public.

Successful Stories and Pictures

The Press provides a good medium for the gentler, positive stories, add a
photograph for more impact. Provide the photo if you want one included. Give the newspaper offices a call and ask which format they require.

However, circulate the News Release to radio and television, too. That's
why it should be titled News Release, and not Press Release.

  • Local News: affects local people
  • Personality: Celebrities, Showbiz, Politicians*
  • Awards: either received or given*
  • First or Best*
  • Next Phase*
  • New Product or Service*
  • First Major Order or Use*
  • Animals and Children
  • Charity Stories: sponsorship of or sponsored by
  • Anniversary: 10/25 years after...
  • Long Service: employee, managers
  • New Appointments

Stories marked * are appropriate for national media and related
magazines.

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Publicity for Business News Stories

Consider this selection of hooks or angles for your publicity for business

Anniversaries: Your organization's 10th; your 100th volunteer; your 1 ,000th customer. Or link with a famous anniversary.

Buildings: Openings, closings, moving to new premises, plans for expansion makes good publicity for business. If you send in photos, remember to have people in them.

Calendar: World Aids Day; European No Car Day; National Sausage Day!

Celebrity: Famous people endorsing what you do usually usually drives publicity for business. Make sure your celebs know what you want from them and that your message gets through. Your story can get lost in their glitz. Remember — different people appeal to different audiences.

Children/Animals: 'Never work with them' was coined because they tend to steal the scene - which is news - especially for pictures. Animals have the most amazing publicity for business value. A family of badgers brought a large hospital's proposals to expand their car park — very badly needed — to a grinding halt. Much media fuss — on the side of the badgers.

Conflict: not just wars; but community v council development plans; pressure group v government proposals etc.

Controversy: you may wish to react to controversial issues. Think it through.

Danger: lives or jobs at risk; communities under threat; health and safety issues for general public or the community.

Events: for publicity for business, promote events before they happen rather than hope for coverage after. Always emphasize the 'why' for an event as well as the 'what, where and when'.

Finally: (and finally) feel good stories that make the audience think the world is perhaps not such a bad place after all may be picked up, particularly as human interest stories. As Trevor MacDonald puts it: 'and finally, the story of a woman who, against all odds .... '. Most newspapers claim to try and balance bad news with good news if possible.

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Geography: local media covers local news; but do not rule out regional or national coverage. When sending information to a news outlet covering a specific area, mention that area in your first paragraph.

Government: What the government says or implements affects us quite obviously and directly at some times more than others. If government news affects you, such as anti-smoking moves impacting on the public, then you are newsworthy.

Grants: Getting a grant can be newsworthy to the right public — but remember your grant task is more important than who granted it.

Happy endings: positive outcome of previous stories. If you got coverage because you were facing a problem and you then you resolved that problem, contact the media again.

Help needed/offered: appeals for money, help; new expanded service etc.

Human interest: The personal story behind the statistics. Be aware of issues around confidentiality and non-exploitation: try to develop the confidence of your clients. Providing the media with real life examples of your work probably creates the single most important action you can take to increase publicity for business.

Interesting: the key to it all. Develop your media awareness by thinking often about the importance of your work and interest to others.

Link: You may well have a link with an event going on somewhere else. This 'ambush marketing' is a great idea.

Lateral thinking: Most slightly crazy ideas have an element of truth and wit about them — don't write them off too early.

Money: being cut; awarded; raised; lost — always an issue — but not always a stand alone story — often needs to be combined with another angle.

New: a glitter word, but there's nothing new under the sun. New does not automatically mean news, so look for the impact of the innovation, and other angles.

Openings: new services and buildings etc; but it has to be linked in with a consequence. Opening on its own is not news.

Opportunities: giving people the chance to better their lives; their community; themselves. Works best with a human interest angle.

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Photographs: a picture paints a thousand words and if you target the right newspaper or magazine, they can make non-stories into stories.
Don't take photos of those for whom your should have permission: young people, clients, patients, etc.

Reports/research: not because of the actual work; but what they show and what you plan to do about the results. Research can fill in the background to a story. When designing research, can you include a question that will yield quirky information? Did the answers reveal surprises?

Superlatives: largest; oldest; first; last etc. Make sure you can justify them.

Topicality: for example when someone famous announces their retirement or the release of new government statistics. 'There's nothing as old as yesterday's news': journalists' saying.

Unusual: events; facts or personal stories. The juggling doctor; the skating nun!

Victories: or achievements for the organization or individuals — recognize and celebrate them. One Shropshire company held a secretary of the month award. They gave the winner a bunch of flowers, took a photo and sent it in to the local paper with a caption. Instant positive coverage on a frequent basis.

Winners: competitions winners; awards etc.

A good reminder: think ahead, think ahead, think ahead. TV stations often have a forward planner who is looking way ahead in their news diary. Talk to this person: they welcome it and will often discuss with you how to work up your story into something visual they would be interested in.

They may well organize a filming session far in advance, where appropriate, so that come the time for the news story, all they need is a couple of sentences.

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