Aaaahhhh – Fall is in the air! Even here in Austin, we are starting to see some cooler temps (and we couldn’t be happier about that). It’s time to dust off the PR cobwebs and think about how you can craft some story ideas (pitches) for your business around the Fall season.
Story ideas are just that: a basic concept for an article or TV segment that piques the interest of the editor or reporter that you want coverage from. You will provide them with just enough information to get started, along with names and contact information of people within your organization who will act as spokespeople. They will do the rest of the work to craft the full story.
It’s best to set aside some good strategy time and plan a 6-month, or even 12-month, calendar of ideas. Different publications require different lead times, with national publications often working 4 to 6 months in advance. To get the juices flowing, look on websites such as Holiday Insights for listings of the major holidays and unique days as well.
So let’s get you started with some story ideas.
1.) National Bosses Day (10/16): Does your company provide a unique service or product that a group of employees could present to their boss on this day?
2.) Yom Kippur (10/8): We are past the deadline for this year’s holiday, but start planning now for 2012. Perhaps you have an employee who is making a pilgrimage to Israel to celebrate this High Holy holiday. Or an employee who is a Soldier celebrating in a foreign county.
3.) Halloween: Probably the biggest pull for October and a great time to get a product into a gift guide, talk about children’s safety issues, showcase a new recipe for a food product, highlight a community service effort, etc.
4.) October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Cookie Month (Big smiles!) and National Popcorn Popping Month. Some serious, some silly – we know…. However, use these opportunities to create unique, fun, and interest-piquing ideas that the media will delight in using.
1.) November is Child Safety Month, National Adoption Awareness Month, National Novel Writing Month and Peanut Butter Month. Did you know that the word goober is southern slang for peanut? Now there’s a piece of trivia for you. But seriously, as I mentioned above, use these designated, albeit sometimes comic, recognitions to your advantage!
2.) Veteran’s Day (11/11): Do you have an employee who is a veteran? What can you do to tell his/her story? Will you do a special community service project this day?
3.) Great American Smokeout (third Thursday in November): Another great opportunity to showcase your community service efforts.
4.) Thanksgiving: Again, the obvious. Get your pitches in early and be the first to grab that reporter’s eye!
I hope that got your wheels turning! We want to know what story ideas you thought of or are working on now – leave us a comment with your ideas. And, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to shoot us an email. Happy Fall y’all!