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9 Ways to Generate Buzz During a News Drought

Have you ever been in one of those “news droughts”? Those dry, dusty times where there’s nothing “newsworthy” to pitch to the media? When, in spite of your best efforts, you can’t imagine what you can say that hasn’t already been said or has an element of interest to anyone on the outside.

Drought - How to Generate Buzz

Most of us are all too familiar with this scenario. We’re under the gun to generate publicity. News drought or not. It’s part of what we do as business communicators. Sometimes it just takes thinking creatively and coming at things from different perspectives.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your organization from new perspectives so you can generate buzz—even during a news drought.

1. Review your publicity plan.

Review the goals and objectives you established for your plan and take time to go back and research the publicity you’ve generated to date. How is the media covering your organization or your client’s company? What are your competitors doing? Is there an angle no one has taken yet? Where are the gaps in coverage?

2. Look at your target audiences.

Segmenting - Target Journalists

What are they talking about right now in online networks and forums? What are they interested in knowing? What information are they sharing with one another and how does that relate to your company? Where do they go for news? Knowing who you are trying to talk to and what they are interested in is essential. It also makes the job of generating publicity easier.

3. Examine existing media relationships.

Go back over the material they cover. How are they approaching your industry? What types of stories are they doing? Which of the recent stories about your industry have garnered attention and comments from your target audience?

4. Remember the bloggers.

Bloggers are often the ones breaking new stories today. The comments their posts generate can yield real insight into the hearts and minds of your target audiences. Are there topics bloggers in your industry have covered that you can use to develop a story idea?

5. Take a stand.

Stand Out - Generate Buzz

Want to generate buzz? Stand out.

In writing for Business2Community.com, Joan Stewart, “The Publicity Hound,” lists a range of approaches to take in developing topics for publicity. Among them, taking a stand on a controversial topic, which can spark online discussion. Or identifying a trend you’re seeing in your industry. How about doing a survey related to your organization or client and releasing the results to the public?

6. Pitch your senior staff as experts.

Journalists often need industry background and experts who can quickly bring them up to speed. Identify those people within your organization who qualify and pitch them to your media contacts as experts who are available to provide background information when needed.  Those conversations not only help to develop relationships but can yield story opportunities you might not have considered.

7. Find the local angle.

 

We’re all members of local communities. Your company, with offices in one or more locations, is too. Look at what’s happening in the world, in your industry, and within your organization and think about the impact on the local community. Tell your story from the angle of the impact on the local community.

8. Celebrate corporate citizenship

Is your organization giving back in some way? Tell those stories: the human interest, feel-good stories that celebrate your company as a good corporate citizen. Highlight the people who are taking part in a charity event or fundraiser and tell their stories, or showcase some of the people who will be positively impacted as a result of your company’s activities.

9. Stay informed.

Knowledge is power - Generating Buzz Pay attention to stories that you can tie into in some way. Current events, both worldwide and industry-wide, can often provide angles you can use to promote your company. Newsjacking, where brands jump on top of a hot news story or trending topic, can be a highly successful way to draw attention and start discussions about your organization. However, you have to be on top of breaking news stories and be able to turn on a dime to use this tactic effectively.

Need to find ways to overcome the drought? Get your free Vocus white paper “Eight Great Ways to Generate Publicity” to help you generate publicity the next time things get too quiet.

Allen Mireles is a strategist with an affinity for technology who lives/works at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing/public relations. Want to read more from Allen? Click here!

Image: CIATviZZZual.com, SEOTed  (Creative Commons)

About Allen Mireles

Allen Mireles is a strategist and wordsmith with an affinity for technology. She lives at the intersection of social media and traditional marketing and public relations and never gets enough time in the garden. Find her on Twitter @allenmireles.

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