How to grab headlines when you don’t have news to share

Being out of the spotlight won’t help your organization reach new followers and consumers. Here are some ideas for how to rejoin the conversation once the public eye has moved on.

Pitching_No_News

When a business has news to share, like a product launch, new location or other milestone, it can quickly nab a top spot in news feeds.

The resulting flow of content can help boost engagement on social media, leading to more web traffic, a growing audience and new business leads. However, the news cycle moves faster than ever and all good things come to an end eventually.

What happens when the news moves on?

You have two options: Continuously pitch your old news, with a new hook that aligns with current trends or go quiet until your next news announcement, losing momentum and attention.

The saying “No news is good news” is a myth. Without continuous media relations and social media upkeep, a business can fall out of the public eye—perhaps into obscurity.

Consider a startup. Its company launch got great coverage, resulting in a bump in followers and engagement on social media, and possibly interest from investors. In the following six to even 18 months the team toils away getting a great product ready to launch. Yet, when the time comes, their announcement goes into a void. While they were working on product, they weren’t getting any media coverage and their standing in the industry dropped.

Followers waned and engagement on social media dropped. Anyone checking out their website might wonder if they’re still in business.

No business is immune.

Businesses of all sizes can be hurt by a quiet news period. Even when there are no launches or new products, businesses need ongoing PR to continue contributing to the conversation to stay abreast of the competition and keep customers engaged.

The news cycle doesn’t end after a product launch: It’s only the beginning of that product’s journey in the news stream. After the launch, PR keeps the product in discussion with pitched and managed media reviews, as well as writing case studies that show demonstrate proof of the product. This content can engage the press and spark interviews for inclusions in industry articles, and the content can also be used on social media to engage audiences.

What to do

An effective PR program should keep your organization in the spotlight by positioning executives as experts to the media.  You should also find award and presentation opportunities, as well as write and place editorial articles, which can all become pieces used to keep the conversation going on social media. Good PR pros can do it all: media relations, content writing, social media and more.

As an example of what PR success looks like, consider how autonomous vehicle Far-Infrared technology (FIR) pioneer AdaSky’s CEO Yakov Shaharabani discussed industry technology, as Mashable examined consumers’ fear for self-driving cars, even though its product had already launched and been on the market in 2017. Another example is how home automation provider Control4 highlighted the way its technology can enhance a historic home, with a case study about an installation in Chicago, in Kitchen & Bath Business magazine.

PR campaigns must be part of a continuous effort to support a company’s place in its industry or industries, grow its following and keep it top-of-mind for journalists, potential customers, investors and partners. With an active PR program in place, a business’s news gets the attention it deserves when it’s ready.

In times of crisis, a PR team is prepped to respond, act quickly and address the situation to minimize reputation damage and keep the positivity going. Without a PR program in place, a disaster can quickly go from bad to worse.

In the end, no news is just bad news.

Laura Shubel is an account executive, Caster Communications. Follow her on Twitter.

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COMMENT

2 Responses to “How to grab headlines when you don’t have news to share”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    When the news moves on, you may nonetheless be able to move up sharply n productivity, and in top management’s esteem, by creating news f what management is doing to help the public importantly. There are major and affordable opportunities.

    The mass media and the public are keenly interested in good health so look how you can increase esteem for the client if you form a Name-of-client Anti-Cancer Institute to back research that may save a million American lives.

    You can associate the client with a world-famous doctor and research hospital the way many companies associate themselves with leading athletes. Three of the world’s top anti-cancer doctors, always doing research, are at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York: Dr. Andrew Zelenetz (blood cancer), Dr. Sherri Donat (bladder cancer), and Dr. Jaspreet Sandhu (prostate cancer). Look at what’s possible.

    .1. You ask each doctor “what major research project are you working on that we might help to support, and how much do you need so you have an excellent shot at success?” Then with the help of your senior management executives, you pick a project to back.

    .2. At the kickoff press briefing, the expert doctor and colleagues announce the URGENT PROBLEM—including how many lives it is impacting each year—then what the research team is trying to do, how, and what your client’s support may help to achieve if the project is successful.

    .3. You get a shot at national or worldwide media coverage because the research team announces expertly what the public predictably cares about deeply: what each person can do to AVOID the disease if possible or at least to detect it early enough for treatment to be successful.

    The client’s president makes a brief speech reporting the magnificent qualifications of each research team leader, and promises quarterly media briefings on how the exciting research project is going and what the researchers are learning.

    People who care about their health will have reason to care about and appreciate your client-backed effort.

    Ford Kanzler says:

    Maintaining brand awareness, aka creating positive company media coverage, can often be achieved by addressing needed changes in the market your brand serves. Pointing out what’s next, what’s currently missing, advocating new ways of doing things, new materials or techniques are all topics worthy of company expression, especially if not blatantly self-serving. These ideas can be carried by many media channels.
    My preferred strategy is developing contributed editorial content aimed at key industry publications. There are certainly other avenues. But working with publication editors needing newsworthy, provocative, informed, controversial content is very satisfying. Even lesser-known brands can access this strategy by creating contributed content.
    Does your management team hold perspectives on their industry? They certainly ought to. Then they should express them! Getting your CEO, VP or other managers and experts by-lined articles will gain brand awareness and credibility which many other tactics, including self-publishing, can’t come close to matching. Editorial contributions require persistence, well-developed ideas, negotiating skills, giving up a degree of control and on-deadline execution for success. Content may need to be ghost-written because named authors can’t or won’t write. The trick is getting the big idea out of the subject matter expert’s head and into a publication. Its not always easy. But it is an effective way of grabbing media and market attention when there isn’t other more traditional news.
    Entire PR campaigns can be built around a thought leadership strategy which includes writing for target publications as well as speaking engagements, influencer briefings and other related tactics. There are many paths to business communications success other than a constant string of news releases. PR doesn’t stand for Press Release!

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