5 simple ways to get publicity and media engagement

You’d like to make an impact – publicity, media coverage, social media engagement. The only problem is, there’s not a whiff of a story in sight…or so it seems.

Here are five top strategies to help unearth that gem of a story – even when you think there isn’t one.

The piggyback

Get someone else to do the heavy lifting

Get someone else to do the heavy lifting

Read, read and read some more – news items relevant to your industry. Set Google Alerts to help you keep on top of this. Are there any current trending news stories that your business could relate to?

Example: You run a local sports centre. There’s a national news story that claims exercise is the number one factor in healthy old age. This is a hook, but how do you turn it into your story?

Find a way to insert your business into that conversation. Do you run octogenarian yoga classes? Offer discounts or provide a meeting place for retired people? Is there a bodybuilding pensioner who regularly attends the gym?

The media loves statistics. So find stats that show how many over 60s live in your area, and how much exercise they currently do. Check out the Office for National Statistics or run your own survey locally and compare the findings to the national figures.

Remember to include a great comment from your company figurehead. This will begin to establish them as an authority on the subject.

Dig for victory

The office move, the new member of staff, the new piece of equipment… some things are just not news, however much we’d like them to be. Be careful about sending non-news story press releases to journalists or bloggers ‘just on the off chance’. A badly pitched story can ensure that your emails never get read again.

If you have a story like this, one option is the trade media. These publications often have sections specifically devoted to office moves, staff hires and so on. Online coverage in your trade media can help your website’s SEO.

Alternatively, think like a journalist and dig, dig, dig until you find something valuable.

For example, we recently had a conversation with a client of ours (a dementia care home). One of their new residents had just started holding poetry classes for dementia sufferers, despite also suffering with the disease herself. It turned out she was also an award-winning poet!

This unusual story was covered several times in all the client’s target media as well as boosting the client’s social media footprint.

The case study

Human-interest angles. They work because we are all a bit nosy. We find other people’s lives fascinating. This is your chance to show how your product or service has changed someone’s life.

Identify a willing case study and find out why they use your service / product. What was their initial situation or problem? How has it helped them in their daily life / solved a problem they had? When do they use the product / service? Does it highlight a wider issue in society?

Case studies are considered soft news, so put a bit of emotion into the mix. Don’t forget that a selection of good photos and/or video is essential to stimulate engagement – in all media, particularly social media.

Keep the focus tightly on the experience of the interviewee to ensure it’s not just a thinly disguised piece of sales puff.

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum – a rags to riches story

WhatsApp founder Jan Koum – a rags to riches story

Your own personal story may even make a case study in its own right, like the story of WhatsApp founder Jan Koum.

Raising awareness

All this writing is making me hungry

All this writing is making me hungry

From National Cupcake Week to World Alzheimer’s Day, there’s an awareness day for just about everything. These days are a gift! They provide an easy hook for your story; they give a journalist a reason to cover your story now and a smooth ride on social media too.

It’s National Cupcake Week and you’re a local bakery…bingo! Alternatively you’re an anti-sugar campaigner – either way you get an excuse to fly your flag and get your message out there. So get the data together – how popular are cupcakes? How bad are they for you? What’s the average sugar content? You may even find figures showing the top five flavours.

You could bake some limited edition cupcakes, or hold discounted cupcake-making classes to celebrate the week. The icing on the cake? A relevant quote or two from yourself.

Check out this handy calendar.

Be charitable

On the face of it, a community fundraiser you’ve organised is quite similar to the doomed office-move story. But they’re different in one crucial way: They’re not all about you.

Raising money for a local charity makes a great local news angle, especially if it’s done in a novel or unusual way.

One Norfolk butcher has the right idea. He challenged contestants to eat giant four-pound patties to raise money for MENCAP. The idea is relevant to his business. It’s also great fun, and provides a fantastic photo opportunity.

Attack of the killer burger

Attack of the killer burger

So there you have it, 5 simple ideas to help you get noticed in the media generally and on social media too – even when you think you have no story. Put on your thinking cap, ask questions, be creative and if all else fails – talk to us, we’re always happy to help!

Still stuck? Give us a call on 01323 325357.

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