March 20, 2009
Many of my clients get excited about the power of press releases to attract media attention, generate sales and move a site higher in search engines. They engineer one or two big hits and get even more excited about the possibilities. Then, despite their enthusiasm and success, I see their publicity efforts halt in their tracks, because they have run out of ideas for additional press releases.
Here are three methods I recently used to generate fresh ideas for a publicity-savvy client who had suddenly gone blank in the publicity angle area of her brain.
The first brainstorming method was using one known keyword to search in Google News for news stories relating to the client’s specialized service business. This turned up several catchy new phrases that reporters are currently using in trend stories (for example, “reverse brain drain”). Then I clicked on the articles using that keyword phrase and discovered other catchy phrases reporters are using, which in turn led me to some political news my client wasn’t aware of that relates to her business service.
So several things happened with this method. First, I discovered some currently popular phrases around which the client can write some additional press releases. Reporters read other reporters’ work. So using those phrases in future releases can get her company on the radar when media people search Google News. Second, we discovered a political controversy and facts around which we can tailor additional releases. And third, those keywords will be good to have on the client’s web site for “long-tail” search engine optimization long-term.
The second brainstorming method was using existing press releases on another topic to generate ideas. Another client of mine had gotten excellent results with a press release headlined, “7 Proven Strategies for Keeping Small Business Cash Flow Positive During Tough Economic Times.” We quickly came up with a bunch of great headlines using the frame, “7 Proven Strategies for ___ During Tough Economic Times.” What’s great about this kind of approach is that you can take things that are true in any economy or that don’t seem to be timely and yet pitch them interestingly as tips for right now.
To find existing press releases to brainstorm from, go to PRWeb.com or PRNewswire.com, select a category that’s different from your own business and then have fun changing the headline so it fits what you do. Copywriters call this method “swiping,” and it is not copying – it’s simply finding inspiration.
The third equally fruitful brainstorming method was going to a good article bank such as isnare.com, searching for her keywords and finding ways competitors of my client have written up tips for the general subject area. One of these slants was myths about the topic. From these articles, I was quickly able to list ten myths my client could build press releases around, one per release, using current facts and statistics, survey results from her web site and her general knowledge to make her take interesting, unique and timely.
If your excitement about generating traffic, earning credibility and attracting new customers from press release grinds to a halt from using up your ideas, use these methods to come up with dozens more publicity angles in little more than an hour or two of enjoyable exploration.
About the Author: Publicity expert Marcia Yudkin, author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books, has engineered coverage in the Wall St. Journal, Entrepreneur, Success, Women in Business and around the world. Get her free audio recording answering common publicity questions: http://www.yudkin.com/publicityideas.htm