If you’re like many small to mid-sized organizations, you have little or no news. Yet you need to remain in the public’s eye. What should you do?
Fortunately, you can “make news.” Here are four of the most popular and most effective ways. I’ll discuss three more methods in my next post.
Many of these ideas give you the opportunity for several announcements, as well as the potential for long-term publicity.
Take a survey.
The media love to know “what’s happening.” So pick a timely topic, design some questions and take a survey. Nabisco did this as part of the 85th anniversary of the Oreo. The company asked people to vote on a new color filling for the cookie. (Blue won.)
Of course, a survey doesn’t mean asking your co-workers a few questions in the cafeteria. Make it a real survey. Either contract with a survey firm or use an online service to help you develop a plan. Test your questions beforehand with some colleagues to make sure that they are clear. Strive to get a “statistically significant sampling”—enough respondents to make your results meaningful.
Give an award.
Creative awards can be newsworthy. The award can even be for something negative. A public relations firm in San Francisco, Fineman PR, gives awards each year for the biggest public relations blunders. (My favorite, several years ago, was a news release describing a drug bust. Unfortunately, the release went out the night before the bust. You can imagine the results.)
What can you “honor,” either negatively or positively? Just make sure that the award is somehow connected to your business.
Make a list.
You don’t have to be David Letterman to have a “top 10” list.
To a great extent, a list can just reflect your opinion. However, you should have some criteria to back up your statements.
What can you “list” in your industry?
Celebrate an anniversary.
This can be especially effective if your organization has a long history and can contrast the present with the past. Jell-O got great coverage for its anniversary with headlines like “100 Years Old and Still Wiggling.” The company resurrected some of its early ads, giving editors the ingredients for a visually attractive layout.
Maybe your anniversary isn’t as dramatic (or your budget as large), but perhaps you can contrast “then” (what things were like when your organization was first founded) and “now” (what things are like now). Your theme could be “things have really changed” or “some things never change.” Consider getting a newspaper from your organization’s “birthday” to make the contrast more real. (An online search for “historic newspapers” will get you started.)
So what anniversary is coming up for your organization?
There you have it—four ways to make some news. In my next post, I’ll discuss three more ways and give some general tips.
In the meantime, more information about public relations and news is available at www.CommunicationsPlus.net/PRArticles.html.