Public Relations is the art of storytelling and trust me, I love to tell a good story.
However, it’s not everyday that a client has something immediately deemed worth talking about. We all know what typically garners media interest – new product launches, new staff appointments, new milestones, new collaborations, etc. What do these all have in common? They’re ‘new’. And there’s no coincidence you can’t spell ‘news’ without it.
So what to do when there’s nothing new to talk about? This is where the creative juices come into play and every good PR comes into their element.
It’s time to create the news, and below are a few of my favourite ways to do so.
Everything is more interesting when it’s relatable and that’s exactly where consumer research comes into play. Uncovering consumer attitudes, beliefs or even misconceptions can add a nice news hook to any story. Selling ice to the eskimo’s may be a hard task, but what if your research has discovered that 3 out of 4 eskimo’s prefer to purchase ice rather than harvest their own? Bingo!
What’s better than talking about yourself? Having someone else talk about you! The engagement of a brand ambassador is a great way of adding a new voice to the conversation and an effective strategy for developing brand associations and interest from new audiences. Talking about an existing product or service might not always cut the mustard, however, engaging a well-known influencer to talk about how they incorporate this same product or service into their everyday life adds a completely new angle.
If there’s nothing worth talking about, you’re not looking hard enough! It’s time to think differently and create a new story to maintain momentum. Think about your organisation, its history and its team. Perhaps a staff member has undertaken community work that may be of interest to the local paper or there’s an interesting trade opportunity around the evolution of your branding and packaging? Of course, your angle should align with the wider business objectives but a little added positive publicity never hurt anyone.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with taking a reactive approach when it comes to news, in fact, it’s a great way of ensuring your brand is relevant. Keep a close eye on the current media landscape and when you spot an opportunity – jump on it! Record-breaking heatwave? Spruik that sun tan lotion! Celeb claims to have undertaken new diet? Have your spokesperson to provide commentary on healthy eating and exercise. Unemployment rates on the rise? Make that new local staff in-take known far and wide.
So there you have it, a few conversation starters for when things are a little quiet. Put these ideas into practice and you won’t be stuck for a story idea again. That said, don’t undervalue the power of silence, as at times it’s ok to be quiet. After all, sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.