First Edition: “Newsmakers Be Like”
In my last post I mentioned I’d be starting something new with this blog. Before I get into what this “something new” is, can I just say that I hate fads? Especially internet fads. Here, I’m specifically referring to those ridiculous sayings that spin up out of nowhere then appear over and over again on my social media timelines. Some of my personal favorites (to hate on) are “turn up” “on fleek” and those silly “be like” memes. You know the ones, “dudes be like” “chicks be like” “bosses be like.” The possibilities are endless.
Recently, it occurred to me that the possibilities with this last one are endless. So actually, I hope you’ll allow me to contradict myself (just this once) as I’m now ready to unveil what my “something new” is.
Introducing: Newsmakers Be Like.
I chose this title for this new blog series because there are some subtle commonalities that all newsmakers have and it forces us to zero in on what it takes to be a newsmaker. I can’t tell you how many clients, organizations, CEOs, VPs, non-PR folks, you name it, who simply do not understand what it truly takes to get news media and social media interested in their brand. Most times, the “news” they think everyone will care about, is actually the stuff that no one cares about. Sounds harsh but, hey, I’m here to keep it real!
I’ve created Newsmakers Be Like to help reduce the number of those same old, tired media pitches and boring campaigns. Instead, let’s help increase the amount of out-of-the-box, newsworthy ideas that will boost awareness for you, your brand, or your organization.
Ok ok, I’m ranting and rambling a bit here so what is it? Newsmakers Be Like is a weekly dose of people, places, and things making the news, a breakdown of why it’s news, and a three-sentence “how to” so you can do it yourself (or, of course, hire me to do it for you!). Here and there, I’ll also sprinkle in a relevant article or two from the wonderful world of PR. So without further a do, here’s your first edition: Newsmakers Be Like.
Why it’s News: Real, live puppies delivered on-demand in an Uber car. On-demand puppies coupled with a partnership with the PSPCA to raise awareness about pet adoptions spells publicity. Why? Because you have two polar opposite organizations coming together for a good cause that probably 9/10 people would get behind. That’s because, just like Raymond, Everybody Loves Puppies! In PR, we call this the “human element” or “human interest.” Then the slam dunk: we saw the juxtaposition of puppy overload in highly unlikely places such as corporate offices and tv studios during live broadcasts.
Give it a Try: Giving back will almost always get you news coverage because people like to see humans being humans helping other humans. Stop trying to sell crap all the time and figure out a creative way to attach your brand to a good cause that will show your human side. But don’t stop there, bring it to life with rich, newscamera-worthy visuals that will tap into the basic human nature in all of us.
Why it’s News: In a time where libraries seem just about extinct, one local branch is still making the news. In the opening lines of a story about the library lending out neck ties to job seekers who are prepping for job interviews, Philadelphia magazine describes the good folks over at the library as “The innovative people that run the Paschalville Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.” This is news because we see a seemingly antiquated thing–the free library–staying current by reinventing itself. All the while staying true to its roots.
Give it a Try: Do something unorthodox. A fun event, campaign, or initiative that puts a different–but related–spin on your product, brand, or service. Own a bakery? Offer free baking lessons to children on the weekends. Expert interior designer? Spruce up a classroom or two in an underserved school district.
Why it’s News: It’s counterintuitive to think that a software engineer would be assigned to scrub toilet bowls their second day on the job. But that’s exactly what one company is requiring of its new hires. This qualifies as news because A) it’s unexpected and B) it tells a narrative of top-level workers doing lower level jobs. Most stories focus on big shots doing big things, while this one brings the big shots down a few notches.
Give it a Try: Put your thinking cap on and get counterintuitive. Within the means of your business, do the unexpected. Instead of looking for reporters to come running to your store’s grand opening (I’m here to tell you they won’t), try commemorating the grand opening by closing the store and taking the team to a nearby shelter or Good Will to serve the surrounding community.
That’s it for this first edition of Newsmakers Be Like. Waddya think? Share your ideas or comments below. Til next week!