Every week in my Toastmasters meeting, each person stands up and speaks for 30 seconds about an accomplishment. The fact that I know I could be faced with saying… “uhhh…. I didn’t really do anything important,” really lights a fire under my butt to make sure that I’m actively making at least one notable accomplishment each week. The same goes for making your company more newsworthy.
I’ve often said that the simple act of setting monthly publishing goals forces businesses to be more keenly aware of ways to make their business more newsworthy. When you know you MUST write a press release every week/2 weeks/month announcing something new or noteworthy — and if you put some type of check and balance in place to hold yourself accountable — you’re subconscious will start working behind the scenes. You’ll start realizing business development ideas that will move your business forward in order to avoid that disappointing “uhhh… I didn’t really do anything important,” realization when it comes time to write your scheduled press release.
Here are 12 things that any business owner or small business can do to make themselves or their company more newsworthy:
Create a Guide, Whitepaper, Book, or eBook
Book announcements can be big news and can really help to establish your position as a thought leader in your industry. If you’re already writing blog posts or articles, take your efforts a step further to create a short, yet information-packed guide, whitepaper, book, or ebook. With current digital technology and print on demand solutions, it is easier today than ever before to publish.
Host a Community Event or Activity
Whether a fun gathering to bring the community together or a gathering to educate the public, putting together a real-life event that involves the community as a whole can be really big news. These types of things take planning, but can be well worth the effort.
Conduct a Research Survey and Publish the Results
Conducting and publishing research survey results is not only newsworthy, it helps you to position yourself as a leader in your industry — plus, the content itself is highly link-worthy. Conducting a research survey is easy with the right online tools. Using survey tools like Survey Monkey, you can poll your existing customer base, mailing list, or blog subscribers. If you don’t have a list, you can set parameters for respondents and tap into an existing consumer panel using tools like Ask Your Target Market.
Host a Contest
Right now, I’m writing this blog post from a hotel that Tara (my business partner) won as part of a contest. She answered a question posted on a blog and won a 3 day deluxe conference pass to Sandi Krakowski‘s “Total Online Blueprint” event, 3 nights in the Hilton and airfair (thank you Sandi!) People talk about contests! There are as many business contest ideas as there are companies that create them. Giveaways don’t have to be extravagant — just relevant to your target market.
Participate in or Sponsor a Charitable Community Event
Announcing news about your company’s participation in a charitable event is a great way to build good sentiment around your business name. Whether you’re announcing that your employees participated in building a home for Habitat for Humanity or that you are sponsoring a Toys for Tots drive, good news can go a long way in building strong ties within your community.
Creatively “Repackage” Existing Products and Services
Repackage some of your existing products or services in a creative way and “launch” it as a solution related to an upcoming holiday or event. During college final exam time, a pizza company could create a special with 2 large pizzas, 2 caffeine-packed sodas, and a sugar filled deserts and call it the “finals adrenaline pack.” Repacking the same services you already offer in creative ways with a great story behind it can be really catchy news.
Have a Limited Time Sale or Promotion
If you were alive and conscious last month, then you remember the massive buzz surrounding the Black Friday sales. Limited time sales are definitely newsworthy. The thing to note when writing a press release about a sale or promotion is to make sure that you are in fact announcing something with an end date. Announcing that you offer hosting for $5 per month is an ad. Announcing that you will be offering hosting for $5 per month to all new customers who buy in December, is a press release.
Website Feature Update
For most businesses, their website is an essential asset. Why not make it a point to make one improvement or develop one new feature per month or per quarter? Creating web apps or web features that give users a more enjoyable experience is what can set you apart from the competitors in your niche.
Speak at a Local Meeting or Event
Look for Meetup groups in your area that could benefit from having you as a guest speaker. Call the Chamber of Commerce and ask about speaking opportunities. Look for events that are already taking place that your expertise would enhance. You can publish a news release before the meeting or event announcing that you will be speaking and you can publish one after the fact announcing that you did.
Host a Class or Training Event
Whether in person or online via webinar, a class or training event is a great way to make more people aware of your business and your expertise. In his book “Engage” Brian Solis lists a variety of Social Calendar tools that you can use to promote your class or business including Facebook Events, Upcoming.org, Meetup, Twtvite, and Eventful.
Publish an Article In a Magazine or a Newspaper
Magazine and newspaper editors are constantly looking for fresh content from subject matter experts. The process of getting a magazine or newspaper article published starts with a query letter where you “pitch” the editor on the story and show why you’re qualified to write it. Once they accept, you write the article and start building your portfolio of published articles.
Launch a New Product or Service
For a business to remain cutting edge, it needs to constantly grow and change. Setting goals to launch new products and service offerings on a regular basis can be a great business practice and keep your name in the news.
Did this list spark any ideas for you? Do you have any other ideas to add to the list? What kinds of things are you doing this month that are moving your business ahead? We love your thoughts, ideas, and feedback!