10 Questions + 10 Activities to Help You Come Up With Media Release Ideas

Sometimes, being able to produce newsworthy content about you and your business can be tough.

Sure, when you’ve got a new product range launching or you’ve opened a new office or outlet, you’ve got plenty to shout about.

But what happens when you’ve seemingly got nothing to say? The following techniques can help you deliver that next story to the media.

The 'Work Outloud' Technique

Coined by John Stepper and loved by PR and media aficionados, the Work Outloud technique encourages business owners to talk about their business as it happens.

Whether it’s by jotting down snippets on sequential post-it notes, on social media or via a good old fashioned verbal conversation, the discipline helps you to stay in tune with the little things.

By acknowledging the smaller goings-on in your business, you’re building stories worth telling. When you’re stuck for release ideas, you can draw upon these tales and craft content with a newsworthy spin.

The ‘Question Time’ Technique

When digging deep for content ideas, sometimes it helps to ask yourself some questions. Look within to find the answers, whether it’s from you, your business or your employees.

Here’s 10 questions to ask yourself that might spark the inspiration you need for a release that’s got ‘extra, extra’ written all over it:

  1. Are you releasing anything new, or have you recently?
  2. Have you got any insights on recent news or industry updates?
  3. Has anything in the external world happened that relates to your business or values?
  4. Is this your client's busy season? Have you got tips you could share?
  5. Is there a holiday coming up? Seasonal releases are always a bonus.
  6. Has a member of your team achieved something exciting, either at work or in their personal life?
  7. Do the public actually know what you do?
  8. Have you got an event coming up, or have you been to one recently?
  9. Has your business got any big plans for the coming months or years?
  10. Has another business done something that’s caught your eye?

The ‘Do Something’ Technique

Still got nothing? Dug deep but still unable to draw out tales for the media? In that case, you’ll have to get out there and create your own stories.

There’s plenty of activities you can do all in the name of getting your business out there, from attending events to getting creative and being a bit silly.

Here’s 10 things you can actually DO that’ll bring with them some newsworthy media release ideas:

1. Ask your audience a question. Whether it’s on social media, on the streets or on your website.

Simple engagement like this can lead you down the path of abstract content ideas, that involve your target audience and make them feel a part of your brand. It happened recently to us, after one simple Facebook question.

2. Do something charitable. Businesses that work with charities not only benefit great causes, but generate stories that people want to hear.

Anything as simple as making a donation is worth telling your audience about. The charity gets exposure, and so do you!

If you’re up for more of a challenge, try holding a fundraiser or a launching a campaign along the lines of Movember or Dry July.

3. Create an offer. Customers love a deal. Depending on your product or service, come up with an offer that’s intriguing, and that could yield new clients. Introductory offers often spark interest, or rewarding existing, loyal devotees is another angle.

If you can make your offer seasonal, for example at EOFY or Christmas, your content becomes more relatable.

4. Get creative, challenge the norm, or do something just plain unique. Things like offering a free coffee to anyone wearing yellow are infinitely newsworthy.

Melbourne burger chain, Mr Burger, promised free burgers for life for anyone who changed their name to ‘burger’ by deed poll.

While the news world went nuts for it, so did the Victorian Government, and the offer had to be withdrawn. So, by all means go crazy, but be smart at the same time.

5. Create a resource.Whipping up a downloadable resource, like a tip sheet, eBook or ‘how to’ guide is instantly worth spreading.

You’ll position your business as a thought leader in your field, and delight your customers at the same time, by rewarding them with a free serve of knowledge.

6. Host an event, seminar or webinar. Whether you’re an expert in accounting practices for small businesses, or you’re a barista boss, hold a virtual or real-time event for publicity.

Share your knowledge and communicate the benefits of attending through your media releases. The best bit? There’s content on every corner – in the lead up to the event, during, and a post-event follow up.

7. Set up a partnership.Joining forces with a brand or company that complements your values or product gets you attention from a number of angles.

You’ll tell the world, they’ll tell the world, and you can reference the partnership on your social channels, website and other media.

8. Open up. If you work from somewhere unusual, or you manufacture something intricate production process, allowing people to behind the scenes can be a way to drum up some stories.

Depending on what you do, the public might be interested in what goes on behind closed doors, or try reaching out to schools and educational institutions.

For example, if you make clothes from your studio, fashion and textiles courses may be keen to show their students an industry success story. Again, the two-way publicity will be great for your business.

10. Offer training or internship programs.Welcoming junior employees into your business for anything from a few days to a few months not only publicises your business with emergent media-ready stories, but benefits the economy and your field as well.

11. Go green.Aligning your business with current affairs and topics of public interest boosts your credibility and provides endless opportunities for release content.

Making small changes to reduce your business’ environmental footprint, like switching your manufacturing processes to be more eco-conscious, or simply reducing the amount of waste in your office are all stories the public will be interested in.

What about your news story?

Have you incidentally come up with a killer release idea lately? Share your experience in the comments. And hey, stories about finding stories can even be newsworthy! Bonus!

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