TOP Talk

How to Make Headlines When New News Isn’t Happening

Person reading newspaper headlines

In the world of PR, it’s wonderful to have a constant flow of organic news. However, that’s not always the case — in fact, most of the time, quite the opposite is true. During those “slow news periods (like between product announcements and significant updates) finding “pitchable” news can be a struggle.

But fret not! This is nothing the thinking of a PR pro can’t fix. With a bit of detective work and some creativity, “slow news” can turn into headline-making opportunities in no time.

Add Your Take on Trends

One of the most common ways to create news is to identify relevant trends and company leaders who can speak about them with authority. For example, if you’re in the martech space, you’re likely observing and commenting on market trends internally every day. With a little bit of polish, those insights are precisely the kind of thought leadership that could be a perfect addition to a financial/market trends piece.

Or, if you can tie a current data point (which, at face value might not appear strong enough to warrant coverage) to historical stats that successfully illustrate a trend, you’ve broadened the storyline into something compelling. This is especially true if the trend hasn’t been discussed previously or is contrary to popular belief.

Ask the Audience

This is good advice not just for game shows, but also for identifying timely topics that matter to your audience. Surveys are often overlooked, but they can be an incredibly useful tool for brands looking to make news.

Depending on your business and the news you’re looking to generate, numerous survey options exist. You could use a survey to gather reactions to a particular topic. For instance, say you have a financial services client. You could conduct a survey on market sentiments ahead of upcoming quarterly reporting. This gives you a relevant, timely hook to take to reporters. And as we previously mentioned, current data points are a great value-add. So, if you have a longer lead, consider conducting a series of surveys to build data over time to either underscore or debunk popular, timely trends.

Regardless of the approach, the beauty of a survey is the results themselves can be news and could also lead you to larger trends and even more news-making opportunities.

Expand Your Expertise

Positioning company leaders as subject matter experts (SMEs) is always a savvy way to secure coverage. The key is to always remain plugged in to what’s making news to get in front of the storylines before they’ve peaked. (Pro tip: Ongoing industry and/or social listening is a great way to stay one step ahead when trendspotting.)

Even if there isn’t anything in the current news cycle you can grab onto, making the rounds to introduce your SME to key media contacts is a great way to stay top of mind the next time a speaking opportunity arises.

And don’t forget about blogging. Owned expert content doesn’t need to be complicated. Get your expert’s voice out there where you can, so when the time comes, your pros have a proven track record.

When the traditional news pipeline is dry, identifying newsworthy talking points can feel like an unachievable challenge. In those moments, it truly helps to have a solid PR team working with you to provide skilled council and help identify those compelling storylines that aren’t so obvious at first glance.

Celena Fine

About Celena Fine

What Motivates Me: Waking up to a new challenge every day.