Communication professionals sometimes get stuck in a rut. Depending on what other roles they’re playing and what type of business they’re promoting, it may seem like every possible press release has either been written or will depend on outside forces. Instead of waiting and reacting to news and events beyond your control, resolve to find the following five human interest stories within your organization and sell them to the press as the hottest stories of 2013:
The Tear Jerker. There is someone inside your company that has overcome adversity. If you find a victor who could use a way to pay it forward, nudge them in the right direction and make it timely and worthy of lots of hankies.
- The Odd Couple. Have a co-worker who is half of an unlikely duo? Maybe your up-and-coming sales leader is married to a competitor, or someone who is completely removed from your business. (Think: Hard-driving political dynamo married to quiet and unassuming farmer. You get the drift.)
- The Bootstrap Story. This could focus on an employee, a client, a company founder or the business itself. This is also known as the American Dream story of hard work that prevails over existing power and prestige, to earn an all-new power and prestige.
- The Hero Next Door. Former military heroes are working in the private sector everywhere; find one and tell their story. Of course, relate it back to your company somehow, but make sure it’s a legitimate linkage.
- The Best of the Best. This could relate directly to your company, or to the hobby or passion of someone within it who is, for example, the first female black-belt in Jiu Jitsu in your city. This can be a straight-up brag on the business, or a “who would’ve thought it?” about someone unexpected.
You can find these stories, but it takes getting to know the people around you and following the human interest stories that interest your local newspapers or industry magazines. Remember that times are tough all around, and the positive story that elicits a laugh or even a small smile will get tabbed for a feature. When it does, put it in a custom wall plaque it for posterity so that feel-good feeling lasts through 2013 and beyond.
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