5 Tips for Creating Client News When There is None

Creating Client News

Every PR professional knows that securing coverage when your client has an interesting, newsworthy announcement to make is like shooting fish in a barrel. However, the challenge arises when there’s no news, and let’s face it – for most companies, that’s most of the time. After all, it’s not every day that you launch a new product, acquire another company or secure an exciting celebrity partner.

To continue the steady drumbeat of coverage expected by your clients, you’ve got to get creative. In most cases, this means creating client news about the company from scratch. The good news is that this process doesn’t need to be a daunting one. With that in mind, here’s a quick list of my favorite, sure-fire ways to generate content and get your clients noticed – complete with fun, real-life examples.

Conduct Your Own Research

What better way to secure some quick hits than by creating your own relevant data points? Recently, we ideated and executed an integrated campaign on the topic of package theft in the United States for our client, Blink. We teamed up with our internal marketing technology team to conduct a one question survey asking participants to answer the question “Have you ever had a delivered package stolen from your residence?” This was broken down by state and coupled with a corresponding and visually compelling heat map of the survey’s findings created by our creative services team. This one question survey resulted in 26 pieces of coverage and over 64 million impressions within a one-month period!

Develop Thought Leadership Topics

One of the best ways to come up with relevant and interesting thought leadership topics is setting up a short interview with your client. Beforehand, make sure to look at the kind of coverage you’d like to secure and ask questions that will help you get that kind of coverage. Also, don’t be afraid to get a bit personal when creating client news (you never know, your client could fly airplanes in their spare time!). It’s also important to do your own research, as clients might not always know what reporters will find interesting or useful. Before you draft your resulting pitches, talk about the potential story angles with someone outside of your team – it will help you better understand what is interesting to someone not immersed in the account’s day-to-day.

Position Your Client as Part of a Bigger Ecosystem

Always remember that three makes a trend! Chat with other people at your agency to determine if there is any potential for a group pitch. After all, more sources = more meat for a reporter’s story. Not to mention, it makes writing a well-researched article much easier and could position you as a go-to for the reporter in the future. Also, in terms of a relevant hook, don’t forget about data, whether it be from your client directly or external sources (non-competitive surveys, stock market, Google Trends, etc.).

Draft Relevant Tips and Roundups

When approaching more lifestyle-focused media, one tactic that has worked well for our consumer team is positioning your client as an expert in a specific space (after all, that is exactly what they are!). For instance, our client Blink has a lot of insights relevant to the home space, which we have leveraged to secure articles such as 7 Myths About Owning a House That Aren’t True, 7 Ways Millennials Are Endangering Their Homes Without Even Realizing It and 7 Small Tips to Help You Save Big on Home Bills.

Utilize Relevant Holidays/Pop Culture Hooks

Did you know that almost every day is a specific food holiday (at the time of writing, its National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day!). For our client Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of our priorities is to secure PR opportunities for their head chefs. In order to do so, we frequently leverage both well-known holidays (Christmas, Valentine’s Day) as well as out-of-the-box, lesser-known holidays (National Hamburger Day, National Eggs Benedict Day), providing recipe content directly from the in-house culinary experts.

Have you garnered any insider tips from creating client news in the past? Share your insights in the comments section below!

Taylor Gallagher
Account Manager

Work at SHIFT

Posted on March 8, 2018 in Client, Pitching, Research

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