I go to bed to the news that Charlie Sheen is ranting and raving. I drag myself out of bed to the news that Charlie Sheen is still ranting and raving. I get my first cup of coffee, clear my head and still……Charlie Sheen is ranting and raving. I feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day. Every morning it’s the same thing. Every evening it’s the same thing.
As a public relations’ specialist, I can’t do a lot with Charlie’s (we’re now on a first name basis) ranting for my clients. And this is an important part of my job.
While many people think that public relations is a matter of drafting and putting out press releases- which do serve a purpose- the best articles come out of smart, creative story and pitch development.
As an agency, we brainstorm and develop customized pitches to fit specific media outlets, reporters/editors and vertical markets. We also link story ideas to breaking news and current/emerging trends. This is an incredibly effective way to raise visibility and awareness for your client’s product or service. Here’s how this works:
BREAKING NEWS: Just yesterday, the state of New Jersey had a major data breach. It was discovered that nearly 80% of the computers the state discarded still retained critical information, e.g., taxpayer’s social security numbers, personnel reviews, and confidential child abuse reports. The expected media frenzy ensued. Is this a big concern? Are there ways to prevent this? What would be the proper procedure for any company or governmental entity disposing of IT assets? Well, our client, U.S. Micro Corporation, a leader in IT asset disposition, has the answers. We contacted multiple reporters, and U.S. Micro was featured as an expert source in articles responding to these concerns. Great exposure for the company on a top-of-mind topic.
CURRENT/EMERGING TRENDS: Data from a regional commuter survey indicated that, over the past three years, clean commuting was on the rise. With the news of rising gas prices taking front and center throughout the country, this was the perfect opportunity for comment from our client, The Clean Air Campaign. Working with one of our Georgia business owners who had partnered with The Clean Air Campaign to embrace carpooling and institute a company-wide telework program as an alternative to rising gas prices, we contacted several of the national broadcast groups. The result: the story about the increase in Atlanta’s teleworking and The Clean Air Campaign’s message was featured on NBC’s Today Show, reaching millions of viewers and hopefully inspiring more people to action.
These are just two examples, but there are endless opportunities if you keep your ears tuned to the real news.
More difficult then it seems – you first have to listen through the clutter of Charlie Sheen, Suri’s pacifier and Lindsay’s jewelry heist.