Everything you do does not make a story. It’s a hard lesson entrepreneurs need to learn. Over the course of my career, I have counselled many business heads/ owners about this very truth. Despite this caveat, it is possible for you to find various themes and interesting talking points about your business.
What are some of these talking points?
Events that have an impact
A lot happens every day. Every time your company goes on a tree plantation drive, it is not newsworthy. However, if you planted a record number of trees that were going extinct OR if the plants actually made a difference to the livelihoods of the community, that is worth exploring. Especially if there is data that says it supplemented the community’s income by X%. The events your small business conducts or participates in needs to be impactful to make a story.
Human interest stories are engaging stories
People are always interested in learning about other people. Human interest stories always find appeal. Look for these stories within your own business: do you employ women entrepreneurs who were originally housewives? Did your sports academy train a local boy and turn him into a national champion?
This is an approach we managed successfully as part of the team that launched the NBA in India. NBA is a huge brand and it was interesting to see what else we could do. Apart from game stats, what would help the brand connect to the Indian market? We then hit upon an idea where we featured a number of Indians, who played basketball, with unique stories. It became a successful series.
Human interest stories are some of the best and most genuine stories you can tell.
Controversy always makes headlines
While they say all PR is good PR, this should be handled with care. Controversy related to issues like politics, protests and fights make news, but you need to be aware that it can also be harmful for your brand. You should look for good bad PR.
Topicality for the win
Try taking advantage of something that is already in the news. If you were manufacturing unique masks for COVID or if you have a meditation technique to cope with COVID anxiety, it will be newsworthy. Sometimes you can even plan for it by commenting on a new government policy, or upcoming festivals and other important events that maybe relevant for your business.
I recently advised a café to create a story around their artisanal sausages. Currently the market is prefers homemade, in small batch products. Given the preference, this was a bigger story than their generic fare.
Something that has never been heard before always makes news. Especially if it is groundbreaking like a new technology or a new product never seen before in the market. I once cracked one of the largest private equity deals in healthcare. This was in 2012 and was an investment in one of the largest multispecialty hospital chains in South India. This made front page news. If something is being done for the first time, is the largest of its kind, or is unusual in any way, you have something shareable with the audience.
Your story must answer the question ‘Why should I care?” The ‘You attitude’ we learnt a long time ago is important here as well. Think what the audience would say. It is not just about how important the story is for you alone, but how your audience would react/ respond to it.
With these factors in mind, go forth and tell your stories!
This first appeared on my LinkedIn, take a look – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/want-your-business-make-headlines-tell-story-pr-sales-chriselle-b/