s your business finding it hard to get traction?  Have you got a great idea that helps lots of people yet your phone never rings?  Well, there is one sure fire method of letting people know who you are and what you do but it takes a little more gumption, imagination and strategy than most. 

 Become a Headline!

So much news is bad news but delve deeper into the paper and you’ll begin to see a pattern – the good news stories are buried and there is often a business involved.  So how do you bring your idea to the attention of a journalist?  In this blog, let’s just concentrate on two elements of a Press Release.  Public Interest and Timing.

Journalists are taught from the beginning to serve the Public Interest.  Defining it is hard so let’s not waste too much space here but the bottom line is if you want to get your story published, it can’t simply be an article about what your company does.  It’s got to be about the Public Interest you satisfy – with a new twist.  For example, it won’t be good enough to be an accountant serving the public at tax time.  But an accountant who works for three months of the year pro bono for prisoners may just be an attractive story to a journo.  So think of the difference your business has that is uniquely in the public interest.   

Then pitch it at the right time.

News is timely.  Ever notice how in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup there are more stories around about horseracing?  Fact is, horseracing stories happen all year round, they’re just told in the 3 weeks before the big day.  So think of the time of year your company is going to be at its relevance peak.  Then pitch the story 2 weeks before that to give the journalist time to book in an interview with you.

Now don’t go write a press release based on this alone.  There’s more to it.  We’ll get to that next week.

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Lisa & Jo  

PS To meet real journos we will be at The Meet The Press course 18-20th August, which of course comes with a cost but we believe it is worth it!