Have you got news for them?

Are you kidding . . . of course you have!

Every business has something interesting lurking in their armoury which could drum up extra trade – the art is pinpointing precisely what it is, and then working out how best to broadcast it to the wider world!

There’s no denying that the explosion of social media has dramatically changed how we unleash an eye-catching news headline.

Digital media has made it much easier for anyone to splash a headline. But the sheer weight of information out there on the superhighway means it’s also more important than ever to do it ‘right’ if you want to be noticed.

Technology may be moving on apace, but the way in which words are manipulated, or ‘spun’ to gain our interest, has barely altered for generations.

Twitter has only reminded us of one of the most important journalistic lessons – that information is always at its most powerful in short, sharp doses.

So if you can’t sum up your headline message in 140 characters, then you might want to consider whether you are making it too complicated.

A team of market researchers (clearly with too much time on their hands!) produced a document a few months back which reckons the average reader only soaks up 28 words of a story.

If that’s true, though, you wouldn’t still be reading . . . would you?

Publicity is actually a complex science. It’s about hitting people with the right message at the right time, in the right place – and that magic formula varies from one business to the next.

Shouting about your latest company expansion, extolling the virtues of a new product, or presenting new members of staff to the world is all meat and drink PR fodder which will raise your profile.

But that’s not the only way you should be harnessing the power of the media.

Sometimes, you have to prove a need for your product or service, and persuade potential clients that it’s something they can’t afford to be without.

It’s like creating a club, and making a compelling argument for why people need to be in it.

Every piece of information you put out there needs to meet what I call ‘The W formula’:

  • Who is it about?
  • What are you trying to say?
  • Where are you coming from?
  • When is your message most relevant
  • …and most importantly, Why is it important?

Does your current marketing and PR strategy answer all of these questions? If not, how can you prove you are relevant to your clients.

So, have you got news for them now?

Carl Jones is editor of Shropshire Business Today magazine, and a presenter on Big Centre TV, and BBC Shropshire. carljonespr@gmail.com

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