3 ways to land media coverage when you don’t have news
This article originally ran on PR Daily in July of 2017.
If you’ve got no news to pitch to journalists, create some.
Some of the ideas below can be implemented cheaply; some will require a
larger portion of your budget. Nor can they be pulled off overnight; these
suggestions are intended as part of a long-term strategy, not quick fixes.
1. Conduct relevant research.
Where will your industry be in 2030? Do you have access to reliable
predictions? What are the biggest challenges you might face, and what are
the best ways to solve them? What are the most innovative things happening
in the industry right now?
Use in-house resources—such as hard data and insights from your senior
leaders—along with relevant government data, reports from think tanks, and
interviews with executives at other organizations to convey the big
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A well-written report with useful information and enlightening insights
will garner attention from trade journalists, business news reporters and
possibly even writers for top-tier media outlets.
2. Do something huge for a charity partner.
If you seek regional coverage, choose a popular local charity to help in a
If you’ve got 50 people working for you and they each raise $50, you’ve got
$2,500 in donations. If possible, promise that the company will match
whatever your employees raise. Now you’re up to $5,000. This is starting to
be a story worth talking about.
To really make it newsworthy and help raise your company’s profile, your
charity fundraising should fit two criteria:
- It should raise awareness about the charity’s objectives; don’t focus on
- It should be a strategic choice. If your products and services are aimed
at teenagers, partner with a young people’s mental health organization, for
example. If your primary audience is older people, partnering with a
charity benefitting seniors makes sense.
3. Newsjack a trend.
Many major news stories will have an angle for expert commentary from your
Does Brexit affect your dealings in or with the UK, for example? If an
attack or a natural disaster takes place where your company is
headquartered, what impact does that have on how you do business? Make your
organization available to journalists in such scenarios.
If a Twitter war is taking place, can you add a twist to it that casts your
company in good light? If something like the Ice Bucket challenge is going
viral, how can you take advantage of it?
Break free from the conventional; the unexpected makes headlines and
Katie Harrington is a PR pro and the author of “Strategic Communications: The Science Behind the Art.” Follow her on
Instagram. A version of this article originally appeared on