How to create a company news agenda
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
What, why, how, where, when? Ask yourself all these questions and the story will come to you
When you first launch a business, a product or a service, what you want and need to do from the outset, is shout about it from the literal rooftops! You need to let the world know you're out there, what you are doing, how to contact you and how they can use your business to their benefit.
Initially, creating your own news agenda can be a daunting prospect, trying to figure out where to start and what to say. Don’t feel you need to be writing press releases, you can use this for your social media, or for your regular newsletter - by keeping your contacts informed with developments you can demonstrate progress, investment and commitment to your promise and mission.
It all comes down to a simple rule: what, why, how, where and when - simply by asking yourself these questions, your story will come to you. Let’s discuss look at each aspect:
What exactly is it you are promoting? What is your business or brand? You know it inside out so put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never heard of you before. How would you explain your business to them? Write down the key USPs, what makes it special, what makes it stand out, what exactly does it do/achieve.
Is it brand new? Do you have a product update or a business development update? Have you a financial achievement or company milestone to communicate?
Once you’ve figured out the ‘what’ it’s pretty straightforward. Afterall, no one knows your business like you do.
The why can feel a little harder to put into words but as we’ve said, no one knows your business better than you. Why do you think people will want to know about you and your business? Do you make life easier? Offer solutions to problems? Is your product or service something that can not be found anywhere else?
Essentially what you are trying to figure out is why should anyone be interested in what you have to say? During these current times it might be that you're a B2B company or service that can help others build their business again. Or perhaps you are a restaurant/hotel/shop owner that has just reopened and you want to tell the world all about it.
Why should people choose your business over your competitors? Are you cheaper, better quality, higher level of service, more efficient. Take a look at your competitors and see how your business fares against theirs to get the answers to these questions.
Consider current trending topics, business activities or worldwide events - how do you relate.
One of the most important elements, who are you talking to. Be clear with your intended audience, this will help you get the right tone of voice and selecting the most relevant words to capture their attention. Remember, when you engage with the media, the journalists are important - but they too are looking to appeal to their reader audience. So think about the relevance of the people/stakeholders you want to talk to.
This has two elements:
How can people find out more? It’s so common that we see social media posts, for example, where businesses fail to say how you can get more information. Yes, readers can respond on social media itself, but many prefer to use a phone call or send an email, or discover for themself on a webpage. Make sure the details of how to do this are easy to find.
How can your business help others - some of this might seem repetitive to the aforementioned what and why but here you can go into more detail. The finer points of exactly what your business offers.
Where can your business, product or service be used/received? Are you global or UK only? Are you more targeted than that and perhaps only available in London for example. Be sure to explain where your business or services can be accessed/purchased.
When should people use or buy your product or service. Are you seasonal? If so, tell people about it and why your product is better at a particular time of year. Are you 24/7 or open during business hours only? What if you're an emergency service, how can people reach you out of hours. Be sure to factor this type of information into your relevant communications.
When can also relate slightly differently if your business is an event or something that happens at a specific time or date. If so, make sure this is clearly communicated.
Keeping the news flowing
While the details above will give you an initial outline for creating your news at the start, it’s important for any business to keep the news flowing. A brand can soon become forgotten if it is not in constant mind. While this may seem initially hard to achieve, especially if you have no news or new information to communicate, this is where it’s time to get creative! Time to have fun and conceive new and inventive ways in which to spread the word.
Check our post - Why indeed a press release?
Below we’ve outlined some possible ideas
Special dates and awareness days - Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day etc. There are so many dates in the calendar you can use to your advantage. You may find you tie into just one of these themes or possibly all might have relevance. Each year the spend on seasonal ‘holidays’ increases so take advantage of this and get your share. Research shows that Halloween is now one of the most popular ‘holidays’ when in 2019, Finder.com reported that Brits spent over £474 million on Halloween related goodies. If your products or services don’t quite fit in with these more traditional days, try looking at https://www.awarenessdays.com/. This lists all types of awareness days that can provide a great hook or angle to your story.
Promotions - If your business lends itself well to promotions, a great way to raise your profile can be via the likes of competitions, reader offers and giveaways. You can keep this simple and do it via your own social media channels or think bigger and offer items to newspapers, magazines and even TV shows. A lot of TV game shows actively seek small prizes for giveaways and in return you can expect on-air mentions and in some cases a logo and video footage.
New product development - new products are perfect news fodder. If you are launching a new product, tell everyone about it using the aforementioned rules.
Business updates such as new appointments, funding news, partnerships - Whether this is to tell your local media about what you are doing or to target business magazines and sections of the national papers, business updates are important news stories for any business. It shows you are growing and taking your business to the next level.
Forward features - A lot of trade led titles produce what is called ‘Forward features’. These can be found on the publication’s websites and downloaded. They will tell you what features the publication has planned for the next 6 to 12 months. These are an invaluable tool for promoting your business. If you spot an upcoming feature that is relevant to you, ensure you reach out to the publication (noting often lengthy lead times). Tell them about your business/product and why you’d be relevant to their feature. A quick phone call could lead to some excellent publicity. Just be sure you have all the relevant details to hand before you make that call.
Read our article - 10 tips to journo pitching success
Newsjacking - This is a simple but effective way to get your name in the media. It requires a little dedication and the ability to act very quickly but it can ultimately reap rewards. If you’re already a regular reader of the media, you’ll be aware of the latest big news stories. If this is something that fits around your business, get in touch with the publication or writer and see if they’d be open to your comments/opinion on the news in question. This could be anything from Brexit to Covid or budgets to sporting events. If it's in the news and it ties in with your business, give it a go!
Still unsure? Arrange a call with us and we’ll give you some direction. Sometimes tapping into the experience of an expert can save you valuable time. We’re here for your PR questions.