Five of the biggest non-stories you might never come across:Â A quick lesson for new entrants to PR
This week itâ€™s my turn on The CommsCo training schedule, on the topic of what makes a good story. Or more importantly, what doesnâ€™t.
Fortunately I learned this early on enough in my career. Although back in those days, new products (even if not even out of Beta phase, and sometimes not even out of R&D) made news. Now they really donâ€™t. With fewer publications come fewer opportunities to get your news covered. Original content that is really thought-leading is actually becoming easier to place than a news release.
Clearly, there are still stories that make news and there are definitely those that donâ€™t. You can tell an organisation that needs PR where each item on the news site starts with â€˜Company [who wants PR] has introducedâ€™â€¦.â€™Company [who wants PR] has launchedâ€¦â€™
So hereâ€™s a few no-noâ€™s plus what might make them a maybe:
1/Â You cannot PR a new MD, nor appointment. Unless that person is Mark Benioff, or similar. If they have been head of a listed company or have a profile in their own right, that is probably the exception you can make. In most instances, this isnâ€™t the case.
2/Â You cannot PR a certification. Nothing is more boring than ISO..zzzzz. â€˜Nuff said.
3/Â You cannot PR a new version of your release. Who cared about version 1 anyway, and so what it has a new interface? Unless it is being used by Uber (or the like) â€“ and Uber is happy to talk, your new product must always be accompanied by someone willing to say they are using it and how brilliant it is.
4/Â You cannot PR a webinar or an event. That is what social media is for. Engaging with your attendees and audience. You could PR findingsÂ fromÂ that event.
5/Â And you ABSOLUTELY cannot PR your new website. The journalist will shoot the PR person, likely in public. Fortunately, there arenâ€™t many clients left who would ever ask you to do this. But donâ€™t. Ever. Just in case they do.
What are you left with? Big named celebs, hooks to major historical events and anniversary days, Man Bites Dog surprise stories (for example, small UK company is winning against US giant, we love these), being lined up to comment on business issues like the budget or Brexit, finding geographical differences and issues for the year ahead. Scientific discoveries, life saving technology. Most importantly, focus on content that relates to the media agenda.
All of that is good stuff, as opposed to the garbage above. But you knew that! Or at least I hope you did.
By the way, we are â€˜launchingâ€™ our new website next month! Thatâ€™s certainly big news for us. ButÂ donâ€™tÂ stop press.