• Frank Cardona

5 ways your company can get into the news without news

You want news coverage, but you think you don’t have any news to share. Don’t fret, there are always unique angles you can explore to get reporters writing about your company. You won’t always need a new product release, a fund raised, or an acquisition -- but you’ll need a good story with a unique angle that catches a reporter’s attention. For example, Veganism is hot right now, so your company no longer serves meat -- that can get you into the New York Times! Newsjacking, origin stories, internal company insights, comments from subject matter experts, and local initiatives can still get you into the news when you think you don’t have any news to share:


Newsjacking


See something trending in the news? Newsjack it, by strategically placing your company at the center of this attention. One way is to newsjack current events. One airline successfully newjacked politics at the American Southern border to get more Americans to travel to Mexico on cheap airfares.


Brands are also quick to jump on internet crazes, like the #icebucket challenge or #thedress, to insert themselves into huge online discussions and debates.

And sometimes when there’s a huge controversy bubbling in the media or online, your company can piggyback from it. You have to be careful with newsjacking a crisis -- it could backfire -- but the reward might be too great to ignore. For example, the stationary bike tech company Peloton stirred a huge media frenzy when they released a video advertisement of a man giving his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas in 2019. The news media and critics were infuriated because in their view the ad perpetuated gender-role and physique stereotypes. Aviation Gin, owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, quickly jumped on the sensation and enlisted the same actress from the Peloton scandal for a Gin ad that poked fun at the controversy. The result? No backlash and great media coverage for the beverage company.


Pitch your founder’s origin story


Another way to get into the news without news is to pitch reporters on your founder’s origin story. A prominent example of a good profile? Mark Zuckerberg’s former college roommate and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz -- now founder and CEO of the popular project management software company Asana.


What made Moskovitz’s story so compelling for a profile, other than the Facebook connection from almost two decades ago? Unlike other former founders who were minted billionaires during college and started investing in other products like mad, the self-described introvert chose to lay low for almost a decade to slowly build out Asana, which is now one of the most successful project management apps in tech.


Now Moskovitz says he only pokes his head out for publicity when it's a major profile for a publication like Forbes -- at the behest of his PR reps.

Another good recent example was Broadband TV’s CEO Shahrzad Rafati, who was profiled on the BBC about her origin story of an Iranian immigrant in Canada who conquered online video tech. What was so compelling about her story? Shahrzad came to Canada from Iran to study in university, with a vision of starting a global business. She eventually became a female founder in a historically white male-dominated tech industry and faced a challenge: her first product failed.


Nonetheless, her story is also of redemption, as she successfully pivoted to YouTube when it launched in 2005 and the business is now reported to be worth over $1billion dollars. So if you’re trying to get into the news without news, talk to your founder and see if their origin story could be captivating enough for a profile in a major publication.


Pitch your company’s internal insights


Got some survey numbers or data that no one else has? You could pitch reporters on your company's internal data, surveys, and reports. For example, earlier this year Mind Meld PR got our client, Unbounce, published in Techcouver, with data and insights from their “Conversion Benchmark Report.” The report featured unique internal insights from machine learning analysis of “more than 186 million visits and 19 million conversions on 34 thousand landing pages.” What were some of the interesting insights that caught the reporter’s attention?


Landing pages for games and gambling are 80% angrier than other industries — these anger-words may relate to higher conversion rates. “Want to be trusted online? Don’t use phrases that refer to trust (eg. “Let’s be honest” or “trust me”). They actually get lower conversion rates. Instead, let testimonials and products do the talking.”

This means you can not only use reports and internal insights in your B2B marketing and business development practices but also to interest reporters on covering your company.


Pitch your company’s subject matter experts (SME).


So you don’t have news, but you might have the perfect SME to comment on issues in the industry a reporter is covering.


You won’t need a press release in this case, but you can monitor reporters’ work and queries to find ways to get your SME into a story. You can also proactively blast your SME’s thoughts to a wide range of reporters or pitch them individually for educational pieces of trends in their industry.


Pitch your company’s efforts in their community to local news.

These days, everyone wants to get published into national and international news. But what about the little guys? Sometimes if you pitch local reporters on how your company is helping its community, it can later lead to the attention of the big guys.

So what local events is your company participating in? How are they helping the local community? How much of your talent lives in your backyard? Give a local reporter these kinds of insights and stories as a first step to reeling in the national media.





You might be thinking: “without news, I’ll need help with a strategy to find what might interest reporters.” If you’re struggling to find the right angle to get yourself in the news, contact a tech PR agency that gets results.

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