Who Knew? It’s News!

As a former print journalist, I have the “inside scoop” as to what makes the news. No matter how small your business is – your company is newsworthy. Here are five occurrences of day-today business that can get your company continued coverage. Think like a publicity hound and start spreading the news!

1. New Employees – In nearly every business there will come a time when you make a new hire. This is an excellent opportunity for press. Once your new super star starts, interview her. These press releases should be limited to about a paragraph or two and should contain: where she resides, her professional background, her new title and responsibilities and something unique about her (i.e. volunteer efforts or an interesting hobby.)

2. Promotions – Similar to new employee releases, promotions are often picked up in the news. Again, limit your press release to one or two paragraphs – don’t make editors wade through her entire life story! This release should include her former position, her new title and the added responsibility she will take on in her new role.

3. Anniversaries – Anniversary celebrations present a wonderful opportunity to spotlight your company and its milestones. While anniversaries technically happen every year, no one wants to hear about the 3rd anniversary of “Bernie’s Bike Shop.” Celebrate the same milestone anniversaries you would in a marriage- your first anniversary, your tenth and then every five or ten years beyond that. Take this opportunity to do something special for your customers – offer free giveaways, plan a fun family event and donate all the proceeds to your favorite charity, be creative. If you do plan an event, send that press release out at least three weeks prior. Don’t forget the post-publicity – the local paper will be happy to receive a photo of your smash hit celebration.

4. New Clients/Products – If you get an awesome, high-profile client go ahead and brag – with their consent, that is. Just be careful to be selective, publicizing every client win is, well, cocky. If your company just designed a great new product, the best way to boost sales is to let everyone know it exists. How? Make it news!

5. Awards/Industry Recognitions – We all love to say we’re an “award-winning” company. The first step to achieving this status is to keep an eye out for recognition opportunities in your industry, and nominate your company, employee, product, etc.Once you have that shiny plaque in hand, issue your award-winning company press release.

After you draft your release there are three more things to do: have someone proofread - typos present an unprofessional image; send your release to the editors of all the local newspapers; follow-up – editors get hundreds of press releases each day, make sure yours stands out.

Once you finally have that precious newsprint in hand, don’t forget to make your clips work for you. Use them to generate new business, post them on your Web site and frame them for your office. And, always remember your company is newsworthy!

Jessica Lyon is Vice President of Co-Communications.  She can be reached at jessica@cocommunications.com.