When it comes to coming up with news stories to use as online press releases, it never ceases to amaze me how seemingly difficult clients find it. “But we don’t really have any news at the moment” is often the response I get. Or “I’m just waiting on X to happen…I should have something next month”.
Call me a slave driver, but if your business doesn’t have some sort of news, something new or exciting or interesting to talk about each week, it’s time to start thinking harder. Or at least thinking differently…
Here at I-COM, we do (try to) practice what we preach – by sending out at least one online press release per week. This isn’t to say that we are involved in something ground breaking on a weekly basis or we regularly have massively exciting news we just have to tell the world about. But we do have interesting stories, comments and news to put our angle on. So here’s my guide to creating news for online press releases (even where there isn’t all that much…)
Read The News
There is always some way of contorting a current and interesting news story and putting your spin on it.
At the moment, many companies are talking about the credit crunch, recession and overall economic crisis. This is a great one – there’s any number of ways to spin this to your advantage. If you sell home improvement products – “don’t move, improve”, if you sell lifestyle products – “escape the doom and gloom”, if you sell something which could save people money – “looking to save money on X?” etc.
Use Surveys and Research
Everyone loves a survey. Especially one that has surprising or interesting results. Just look through any national newspaper and you’ll come across many stories based upon opinion polls or surveys. You can even come up with your own survey stats reasonably cheaply, though adding a quick survey to your website, asking customers to complete a questionnaire or asking people questions at an event you are holding.
Once you are armed with the stats, it’s time to put your angle on it to promote your product or service. “75% of people are unhappy with X…time to switch supplier”
Look at what other people in your industry are talking about/publicising
Didn’t someone once say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well, they may have done, not that this saying necessarily applies here. In the case of online PR, imitating your competitors, or at least ‘keeping an eye on’ and reinventing what they are saying with your own spin, is one of the easiest ways of creating news for press releases.
Not that I’m condoning copying…but keeping abreast of what your competition are up to is always a good idea, and this just gives you an additional reason to do so.
Talk about your achievements and triumphs
It’s amazing how reluctant clients seem to be to promote their achievements. New client wins, pitch wins, new products, new services, awards, accreditations, nominations for awards etc. Clients should be banging our doors down to get all of this good news out there. But in the majority of cases, I can only get at it when I prod clients with an extremely large stick. The more good news you can get out there about your company, the more credible your company appears.
Online PR is a great tool to get your news out into the public domain, attract visitors to your website, benefit your website with link value, and potentially attract further media attention.
There’s always a story to be told, so think hard, think differently and get typing!