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
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
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
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.