Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 6
       

Another Year of Opportunity

In our last issue, we discussed preparing for a New Year and putting together a plan. Now that the year is upon us, it is time to put that plan into action.

It is always amazing how many PR opportunities present themselves over the course of a year. Related news stories, company developments, product launches, speaking opportunities and more are out there just waiting to be seized.

As a company owner or executive, your job is to anticipate and seize those opportunities. Here are some things that can help you do that:

  • Dedicate 10-15 minutes a day to checking your industry’s news stories. You can easily do this by setting your web browser to check those stories for you. With Yahoo!, for example, you can ask for news stories pertaining to your industry to be sent to a free Yahoo! e-mail address.

When you see a story that directly relates to your company, take the time to contact the journalist and congratulate them on a job well done. (Don’t blow smoke if you think the story is garbage.) Let them know how your company is related and offer to send them additional information and become an industry resource for them.

Perhaps the story offers you an opportunity to write to the editor of the publication, either taking issue with a concept or viewpoint, or giving more depth to an argument or point. Getting the letter published is a plus, but just getting on the editor’s or reporter’s radar screens is a huge move.

  • Press releases regarding company developments will generally go unread unless they have some news value. You may want to emphasize the benefit to the public of your development, or create a story behind the development that has value. Remember that a press release or story pitch only has value to your company if the media picks it up.

  • A product launch is always a newsworthy event, as long as it’s not a minor revamp of an existing product. The best way to disseminate this information is through trade and related media. Always emphasize the benefit of the product, not just technical information.

  • Trade shows and media events are tremendous opportunities for public speaking opportunities. Your industry’s trade magazines and web sites usually publish opportunities and calls for papers for these events. You can also do a search on any of the major search engines for “speaking opportunities” and pull up a number of opportunities you may have never considered before.

One key to speaking success is to leverage your appearances. If possible, get some of the speech on tape and use it on your web site for a short period, then archive it in your media files.

  • Finally, and most important, be prepared for media activity by making sure that there is always somebody available to answer media inquiries. There is nothing more painful than a PR opportunity missed.