4 alternatives to spewing your boring agency news

Reporters get hundreds of releases about recent hires, new clients and staff promotions—and most go straight into the trash. Here are some ideas to help your pitches stand out.

Your anniversary announcement isn’t as special as you think.

It might be a bitter pill to swallow for some communicators, but reporters—and, more important, their readers—do not care about your 20 years of business operation. They don’t care about your latest “exciting hire.” They don’t care that you now represent a multinational corporation pursuing thrilling initiatives.

Readers care about how your news affects them—and if it doesn’t, they will skip your article without hesitation.

Here at PR Daily, we get hundreds of pitches asking us to include bulletins about hires, promotions or new client partnerships—and they all go to the trash. These stories don’t get shared with or by our audience. They are lazy attempts at promotion, and they offer no value for our readers.

An oft-cited writing principle is to “show, not tell.” The idea is to let dynamic examples help your audience draw their own conclusions rather than just droning on about the importance of your message.

Announcing mundane happenings is the pitching equivalent of shouting from the rooftops that your organization is great, without offering proof. Still, executives want such press releases sent out widely.

Here are ways to repackage your industry news to get the coverage you want:

1. Turn new hires into profiles in industry leadership.

Surely there is a reason you want hiring notices to be published in a trade paper or magazine. New team members represent exciting opportunities and newfound expertise. They have something to offer—so get them to share it in a guest post.

PR Daily is always looking for thoughtful industry analysis or actionable tips for modern PR professionals. If your new hire is as wonderful as you believe them to be, certainly they have insights to share.

2. Make anniversaries about developing industry trends.

Congratulations on your storied success in the PR industry. If you have a newsworthy anniversary to share, that means you’ve been there for years of volatile change, including the advent of social media and the demise of the press release. You’ve got a unique perspective on how the industry has changed and where new technology and best practices will lead.

Make sure your opinions are evidence-based, and avoid talking about only your organization. Repeated mentions of your success signal a futile attempt at self-promotion, and editors will discard the article.

3. Ask promoted leaders to offer expert commentary.

Talented senior leaders have their finger on the pulse of the industry. That means they can offer insight into big news stories that touch on industry goals.

Reporters are often looking for expert commentary to give context for their reporting and will be happy to include snappy, relevant quotes from a qualified source. Ask your principal to quickly supply a quote on a hot-button issue, or offer to set up an interview.

Remember that reporters are busy, often on tight deadlines. If your quote comes too late, you’ll miss your opportunity. Likewise, if you offer to set up an interview for a breaking news story, a reporter is likely to ignore your query in favor of less work-intensive reporting.

An important resource for these communications is HARO, the online portal for reaching hundreds of reporters looking for sources.

4. Use new clients as examples of shifting industry priorities.

If your nascent working relationship is newsworthy, it probably touches on emerging industry trends or concerns. Broaden your unique example to make a case about the wider PR workforce.

Does your new social media partnership offer a new path for PR practitioners? What do PR pros have to offer the tech entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley?

If you can’t make a bold and compelling case, your news—well, it isn’t news.

Even if a trade publication is willing to publish your agency announcement in a roundup of industry news, that brief mention is worth less than you think. As search engines reprioritize their algorithms to favor high-qualitycontent over raw mention metrics, a meaningful profile featuring your organization will matter more than a simple link.

How are you repackaging your industry news, PR Daily readers?

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