How to turn “business as usual” into a great story

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Getting media outlet to pay attention to your business seems like an impossible-to-solve puzzle. I can tell you that reporters are always looking for good story ideas. BUT turning your business  into a wonderful media story can be achieved when communications is central to the business and to management teams.  So how do you root out your business’s stories? Here are my top tips:

1. If it’s in the news, it’s usually new – how new depends on the kind of media you’re targeting, but as a general rule daily newspapers won’t use stories more than a couple of days old. Test it out – pick up your local newspaper and see how many stories start with “Last month…”

2. The est test – this is quite simple. If you can stick “est” on the end of a word to describe your story it’s likely you’re on to something. So if you have the biggest, smallest, first, last, widest, narrowest… You get the idea.

3. Use people’s reactions – if you’re like me you probably talk to your other half about your working day. As they don’t know your business in as much detail as you, use them as a sounding board. Their reaction is likely to tell you whether you have a really interesting story.

4. Will what you’re doing benefit someone else? I know of a company which totally overhauled a disabled lady’s garden because they heard she was struggling to get in and out of the house. They donated their machinery, staff time and all of the materials. And they didn’t say anything about it. Self-less acts like these can make great local newspaper stories.

5. Will it have national repercussions? Can you hand-on-heart say that what you’re doing will change things for a huge number of people? In that case, you’re likely to be on to a big story.

The publicity is here for the taking. All you have to do is ask. Any thoughts.

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