Years ago, when I was covering legislative hearings for a local newspaper, I arrived in the newsroom late one night and told the night editor there wasn’t a single thing to report on. No decisions had been reached by the committee. The editor, who I’m certain ate cigarettes for breakfast, responded, “There’s always a story there, even if it’s not the one you were expecting to write.”
He told me to empty my mind, be formless, shapeless, like water.
So your technology product? Your services firm? Your regulated industry that precludes you from talking about certain specifics? A brand journalist like me finds the crevices where the stories lie. Whatever you sell can’t possibly be as dull as legislative hearings and I found plenty to say after that night.
As Muriel Rukeyser once said, “The universe is made of stories, not atoms.”
I help companies build a competitive advantage through the creation and sharing of non-promotional news and features that customers find interesting and valuable.
You realize customers are overloaded with information, promotions, global events, cell phone apps, aging parents and trying to squeeze in one more to-do item today; just like you.
The world is full of promotions and advertising. People don’t want more of the same. They want something they can believe in, enjoy and engage in. They would also appreciate some guidance from reliable sources; someone to explain; to keep them up to date.
What information would be valuable to your customers?
- Solutions to problems – what problems are your customers trying to solve related to your service?
- Company background – humanize your business.
- Fact sheets – how to, where to find. Be a resource.
- Case studies – features that document a success as opposed to testimonials. Stories illustrating the proactive and positive relationships you have with your customers.
- Industry research – third-party pieces from industry influencers.
- Point out links to interesting and valuable sites.
- Share your expertise – innovations, background in the development of a new product or service. Features that call out the uniqueness of your products, service, and people.
- Lists – everyone reads lists such as The Top Six Concerns….or Five reasons you should…
- News — hard-edged business development stories — Awards, staff changes, legislative issues, law changes, community, or interest group support, fundraising
- Reminders — Calendars, deadlines, price increases, events
- Media relations – become a respected media source site with an online newsroom, fact sheets, downloadable photos, videos. Industry research. White papers. Case studies. Refer journalists to this portion of your site. They ‘d appreciate the help.
May I have your permission to continue this discussion? May I help you develop a publishing schedule, plan story ideas and develop your blog – the key item in your distribution network. If our ideas aren’t worth a nickel, you won’t owe us a dime.