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Finding Newsworthy Angles for Your Business

How do you get your business into the news? In the excitement of setting up a business, many people rush in with a press release that shouts, ‘We Are Here; Please Feature Us.’ But this won’t impress a world-weary journalist who receives hundreds of press releases each week. What journalists want is an angle, a hook that makes a business stand out.

Before you begin approaching media outlets, have a brainstorm with yourself, to figure out what’s different about your business. You’ll find there are loads of angles to choose from.

  • New Developments: A launch, an award, or an expansion of your business will give journalists the feeling that they’re getting news hot off the presses.
  • Background: Many businesses have an interesting back story. Do you have a knack for spotting a niche? Are you finally getting the chance to pursue a passion?
  • Products and Services: Are you stocking a line of clothing that’s exclusive to Ireland? Is your service filling a need people never knew they had?

Not all businesses are unique, but they all have their own individual way of delivering their products and services. If you worry that nothing new is happening in your business, consider these options.

  • Customer Service: What do you do to go that extra mile for your customers?
  • Expertise: Are you good at spotting trends? Do you have a particular insight into a current news story?

Media publicity is a valuable outlet for promoting your business. But businesses don’t fully exploit its potential. Most businesses still tend to go down the advertising route when approaching the media. But being featured in the news and feature sections is free – and generates the sort of word-of-mouth publicity that money can’t buy.

Every business has a story. Your story helps your business stand out from the crowd. It's your story that customers ultimately buy into. I help businesses tell their story using a three-step process. Define the story: Identify what you do, how you do it and above all, why you do it? Refine the story: Decide who's interested in your story and where to spread the word. Deliver the story: through blogs, newsletters, mailshots, social media posts, press releases and brochures.

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  • Good one Derbhile. Indeed, free, good word of mouth is worth a lot more than going the advertising route immediately.

  • Anonymous

    Sound advice Derbhile

    I think your article is a good reminder that printed media has not disappeared and can still play a very important role in marketing a business. Social Media / Online activity has blinded/distracted many businesses to the continued value of the coverage in the newspapers.

    Newspaper exposure has an impact on the immediate reader BUT let’s not forget about the long term potential. Placing your newspaper/media exposure on your websites is very powerful.


  • Hi Derbhile, How do you feel about surveys? Do you think they might be a good way to get your business into the mainstream media?

    @Paul I am not sure it’s blinded people, perhaps it’s getting more priority cause it’s easier to do & some might say fairer.

    I have to say I have an issue with the way many mags offer you editorial for money, I understand that they have to make money like any other business but does this practice make for the best articles or most valuable pieces? I don’t think so 🙁

  • @Niall. I agree with you re advertorial. It’s ruining print media. But people do give me money for doing it! 2 edged sword. And there’s a business in Kilkenny called Market Dynamics that gets very good coverage for its South East Business Conference surveys.
    @Paul. A new website from Mark Little called Storyful aims to combine the dynamism of online media with the news values of traditional media. Not launched yet, but keep an eye out.

  • Anonymous


    Verbal marbles in my mouth – I will need to get the scrabble board out again 🙂

    What I am trying to say is that many companies completely ignore/forget about printed media due to increased popularity of online strategies. I agree that online is “top dog” due to ease of use and access to a greater audience. Most of my PR/Marketing efforts are now online compare to 2006 when I set up. I still think that successful newspaper exposure/comments carry a big punch in terms of credibility/reputation/branding so shouldn’t be completely ignored.

    Will keep an eye out for that site Derbhile – thanks!


  • Derbhile,
    Great advice thanks for sharing.
    I have just launched a new business, and am happily going to pull in a favour for some media coverage. would you recommend I do Press Release before or after the media coverage (newspaper) I hopefully will get soon?

  • I am going to do a post on it, would be interested in hearing your thoughts beforehand?

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree Derbhile, great post! It’s absolutely imperative that businesses use all media availbale to them to get the best results. We need to see a message 7 times before it sinks in so the more you get out there the better.

    I second everything @paulmullen said !

  • Have newspapers already shown an interest? Are you happy with the level of coverage they’re giving you? If yes, you won’t need to do a press release. But if you’d like more interest, or haven’t any coverage yet, then yes. And if you’re doing an official launch, then try and get it in in the run up. Local media can be tricky with their deadlines though, so if it reaches them the week after, that’s fine.

  • Wow! Amazing post, well done Helen!

  • Thanks Niall!

  • I’ll be giving the multi-currency (#6) a test run with a client tomorrow – shall be looking for an enlightened face and no head scratching!
    Thanks Sian – hope it helps a few people out.
    ~ Helen

  • Interesting, particularly the Research and Development point. Would that include books you buy and courses you take? Also, in my case, late payment is often caused by customers simply forgetting. When they’re gently reminded, the money wings in.

  • A realy useful post Helen, thanks. There is something in here for everyone, all levels

  • A worthy resource to keep on record Helen, seeing as you are discussing the importance of recording.
    Great tips for all business owners, and I commend your use of best practice, especially when it comes to using spreadsheets to manage accounts, a big NO-NO!

  • Thanks Begjii – hope it helps a few folk.
    ~ Helen

  • Thanks Izzy – good to know it’s a resource post.
    ~ Helen

  • Hi Derbhile
    R & D would tend to apply where you are developing something new and unique – a specific project. So, books and courses could count as R & D, but only where something major, new and unique was being created. I would spend quite a bit on books and courses each year, but wouldn’t classify it as R & D because it is a routine and necessary part of my business.
    Good point about late payers forgetting. When it come to debt collection, consistency and persistence is the only game in town – so reminders are vital 🙂
    Thanks for adding to the post and for your comment.
    ~ Helen

  • Thank you for that timely post as we start of the New year post Budget. Practical as always- As a previous retailer I can testify even the most minor slips in a stock count can greatly distort the end of year figures. Also a real blog waiting to happen there in terms of how to read your stock count results for signs of trouble in your company

  • I guess we have both been in the trenches with spreadsheets 🙂 Thanks Elaine, I’m delighted you find it of resource value.
    ~ Helen

  • Good point on the stock count Eilish, Some retailers do weekly or even daily counts where there is high value stock or where they need to identify the source of problems such as falling profit margins. These can be be stock- related through fraud, theft or human error in the sale process.
    Thanks for the blog suggestion – one of us might write it, it would be a useful post.
    ~ Helen

  • Thanks for share…..

  • J

    Quick question. I have invoices from 2013 that were just paid this week. Do I add them for the new year or put them in for 2013. I am using quickbooks.

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  • durgesh

    if i have pay delay charge in case of late document submission in any department.
    how to enter our accounts book (which accounting head/name) as per company act.
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