When it’s time to pitch that reporter or write your next blog, be ready
Once again, it’s time to develop a weekly list of topics for your media pitches and blogs, and once again, you’re stuck. This is a perennial problem for public relations practitioners everywhere, but you can make it easier with the right tools and techniques.
It may seem to you that some people are never at a loss for ideas; the inspiration just keeps flowing. The rest of us could use a little help. Pitching or blogging about one boring idea after another is the quickest way to get on the wrong side of journalists and visitors to your website. These tips can help to ensure that you always have a supply of terrific story ideas handy.
- Keep an open mind. Ideas can come from anywhere. You can even look for new ways to present old stories or ideas. Perhaps a follow-up, behind-the-scenes look or a big-picture focus on an already-covered issue could be interesting. For instance, if you see a headlining news story about wildfires, you can offer related stories on what burn victims experience or unique ways of teaching fire safety and prevention.
- Ask questions. If you are wondering about something, chances are good that reporters and customers are wondering too. It might help to get a change of scenery to stimulate ideas. Take a walk down the street or around your building and see what questions you think of. For example, passing the CEO in the hall may cause you to wonder about her plans for hiring more people in the next few years. You should also pay attention to the questions your clients ask you.
- Brainstorm with others. Make a list of every idea that comes up, even if it doesn’t seem good initially. Don’t immediately evaluate or ignore any suggestions. Keep going until you have exhausted all thoughts. Once you have your list, you can pick out a few that seem interesting or intriguing and begin to clarify and expound on them. You may find that you are able to create several different topics, and you can save the rest for other times when you are stuck.
- Look back or ahead. How has your industry changed over the last 10-20 years? You can go back through your records or past annual reports to compare what was happening years ago to what you are doing now. Were any predictions made? Were they correct? Also, don’t be afraid to speculate about the future. Determine where you think your industry is going and be the first one to call it. Taking the lead on issues and being fearless in expressing opinions are good ways to establish thought leadership in your field.
- Let a PR firm handle it for you. They are communication experts who understand what makes great content and how to give reporters what they want.
At Axia Public Relations, we will help you develop a content management strategy that gets results. Using the right visuals, surveys and data, we can create stories that are interesting, authoritative and timely to increase your visibility and reputation. Contact us today or download our e-book, Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment, to learn more.
What tricks do you use to generate ideas? Let us know in the comments section.
Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business and technology PR. Lisa has worked for Axia since December 2013. Learn more about Lisa Goldsberry. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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