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A question came up at a recent lunch and learn workshop I was hosting on the topic of media relations for small businesses.
I was really happy to see people start throwing out ideas to help answer this person’s question. We’d been discussing what is news and how and where do you share it. People offered suggestions ranging from the chamber of commerce newsletter to the local tourism association to all the local media, including radio, online and social networks.
Then people started thinking big, suggesting some provincial media and regional and national magazines. On the spot, they were brainstorming why and how this small business’s news might be important to a national magazine.
It was a good collaboration of ideas to offer a hand to another local business. It also highlighted how we vary our news depending on the audience. An announcement of a new appointment to a board might require an ad in the newspaper because it isn’t a big news story. Yet in your alumni magazine or professional association newsletter, it would count as news.
Changing your menu is not news. Okay, it is news to your staff, and maybe you want to share it on your social media. Even there, you will probably share it differently on Facebook or Instagram than on LinkedIn. But it isn’t particularly compelling news. It’s not going to get the local media interested.
If you pitch the story that your restaurant will now only shop locally, dealing only with local providers, serving food based on seasonal availability, you’re starting to create a news story. If you take it to the next level and include one of your local providers in the story, now you are showing the benefits to the local food industry and to your customers. Putting a human face to the story, illustrating how your news affects your audience, takes it from a menu change to a human interest story that is newsworthy.
It is so important to ask ourselves, what is the news here? How do we want to share it? Where do we want to share it? What is the story we’re trying to tell?
And don’t forget to introduce the human element into the story; that always helps make it more newsworthy.
If you’d like to join our discussion, I’m facilitating two half-day workshops on Communications for Small Business Success in Kimberley and Fernie, June 27 and 28.
To register for the Kimberley Workshop visit:
To register for the Fernie Workshop visit: