MIAB - Blog - How to do PR when there's nothing to talk about

How to do PR when there is nothing to talk about

How to Do PR When There’s Nothing to Talk About

It’s almost impossible to have news or updates to share every day, week or even month. When there’s no news, no new product to launch, no new member of staff or team, no case studies or testimonials, literally when there’s nothing to talk about, how do you do PR (which stands for Public Relations, not press release)?

What is PR?

PR is all about editorial coverage, getting the company’s message out there in the press, and more coverage you can get consistently the better – as long as it’s positive. Sometimes referred to as ‘earned media’, whether you have an in-house PR person or team, or it’s incorporated into marketing, or you use an external PR agency, there are going to be times when there is no news and nothing to talk about.

The days of the traditional press release that was sent out to local and national press, or carefully chosen media representatives, has been seriously usurped by social media. That doesn’t mean it no longer has a space in the world of PR and marketing, particularly for B2B campaigns, it does, but it is now a very specific niche.

Today, PR is how businesses and organisations engage with the public and there’s no better place to achieve this than social media channels. Indeed, it is the go-to platform to inform an audience about just about anything. To be able to impart news, or a worthy story, or to talk about a new product and have your audience informed within a matter of minutes, rather than waiting for publish day, in just a few words or with pictures, videos and infographics is a game-changer.

How to do PR when there's no news

There are tried-and-tested tactics to creating news that is exciting and will get your audience talking about anything, even if there’s not anything to work with. Here are our top five to consider and try.

Use online tools:

Rather than reporting news, PRs can provide news for journalists. There are a variety of online resources with media requests from journalists who consistently reach out to industry experts through online platforms and social media.

Some resources you have to pay for, such as ResponseSource in order to receive live media requests in your email inbox. But there are other platforms that are free, such as the popular HARO (Help A Reporter Out). There are plenty of opportunities to provide stories, telephone interviews, written features, articles and comments, as well as answering Q&As.

Get onto Twitter and LinkedIn – two B2B social channels and use the hashtag #journorequest, and similar, to find journalists and publications looking for media contributions. Follow them and you’ll receive live alerts of requests, and it’s free.

Be reactive: 

Yes, we do mean reactive. PRs are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to shout about their clients, or company, and search for stories that are going viral or topical discussions which they can link their company or organisation to for coverage.

Twitter’s trending topics are the perfect opportunity to see what’s being talked about and identify relevant topics of conversation. It could be as simple as offering advice in the comments section or responding to a question, but it will provide positive media exposure. There are even online platforms you can register with to receive daily updates on the latest trending and hot topics, like GetDayTrends and Trends24.

Most thought leaders and influencers will post blogs, articles and white papers that have a comments section at the end. Follow key people in your industry and add your client’s thoughts to gain coverage.

Creativity is key:

We all know that marketers and web designers need to be creative, but so do PRs. So, instead of creating new content and stories, consider repurposing and recycling old content, particularly if it was successful the first time around. For example, take a PR about a new product launched six months ago, update the content and report on how successful it has been, how customers have used the product, link it to a trending topic or to a recent survey you’ve seen, or to a local or national event, exhibition or other activity that’s happening soon.

With a little bit of creative outside-the-box thinking, not only is this providing you with news to talk about, it gives you the opportunity to potentially reach a previously untapped audience.

Become a thought leader:

Something that PRs often forget is that they have industry experts at their fingertips. Your client’s company or organisation is successful in their field for a reason – they have an expert or two in the corporate set-up. Don’t forget to tap into that expertise and use it to your advantage. Ask them for an interview, conduct a Q&A session with them or ask them to write an article on a topic that will solve a customer’s problem. 

Once you have their inspiring thought leader content, be proactive and pitch to the media and journalists in their field. You will have far more say in how it is presented to the publisher’s audience and it can lead to further commissions. The more editorial, or articles, you can secure, the greater the opportunities for your client’s voice to be heard and linked to authoritative organisations.

Use surveys and government information:

How often have you seen the results of a recent survey or the government has issued the latest update/change to current regulations? Most weeks, you will see something in trending topics or national news that you can link to your client’s company or organisation and their products or services. Consider issuing an FOI (Freedom of Information) request to find out specific data about something in your client’s local area. For example, request information on areas in the UK with the highest number of surveillance cameras. You can then use this information to create a news story.

Data requests may be time-consuming but once you have the relevant data, it can be used and repurposed in a variety of ways by PRs to garner media coverage.

These are our top five tips on how to do PR when you think there’s nothing to talk about – in fact, there’s always something to talk about.

At Media in a Box, we offer a variety of social media, SEO, content marketing and website design services that are not only highly effective but will also meet everyone’s budget, no matter how big or small it is. Whether it’s optimising your website, developing a social media plan or helping with content marketing, contact us today and let’s chat.