By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator Of PrPro And Owner Of Energy PR

Certain people appear naturally brilliant at always being in the news. However it’s not a natural talent, they just have their media antenna permanently up. They’re ready to spot an opportunity to comment, and when they do, they grab it with both hands!

However, even if this doesn’t sound like you, and you are naturally reticent, there’s no reason why you can’t make yourself and your business a more regular media commentator. Here’s how...

- Capitalise on the fact that local and trade media love an excuse to get involved in a national news story.

- So keep an eye on the national news agenda.

- Create a timetable of up-coming announcements which you know are important. For instance, if you are a company supplying energy saving light-bulbs, then the energy companies’ trading announcements are important (their success is at the expense of your potential customers).

- Use Google Alerts to prompt you when important topics are being mentioned.

- Keep an eye out for national days or weeks that you can piggy-back on (national no smoking day, health and safety week etc).

- Future Events News Service (www.fens.com) is a great source of upcoming news opportunities.

- If something happens nationally, which could have a knock on effect on your business or your customers, quickly marshal your arguments/thoughts and call your local/trade media.

- Remember the “why should we care rule” — it can’t simply be something that will affect your business, it has to be something that will affect the media’s audience.

- Local media will only care if that means local jobs will go; consumers in the area will lose money or gain something.

- Trade media will care if it means that businesses will lose a competitive advantage, be unfairly regulated, miss out etc.

- Sell in the gist over the phone to news desks — they may be interested in this as a stand-alone piece from you or do a round up piece quoting you and others. Give them some facts and underscore the topicality.

- Remember we’re talking topical opportunities — so act quickly.

Even if the opportunities you go for are sometimes a little tangential, the fact you go for them will remind the media that you are there and that you have views worth hearing...

Louise has two businesses to help get your PR motoring:

For more PR training and tools so you can do your own PR visit www.prpro.co.uk

If you are looking for a great PR agency visit www.EnergyPR.co.uk

On Friday 28 February at 11am Fresh Business Thinking will be running a Twitter chat with Journolink.

Journolink launched earlier this month and is a no nonsense on line service that links the businesses and their news directly to the journalists who want to write about them.

We’ll be talking to Journolink about the best ways that small businesses can get themselves into the media and we’d love you to join in the discussion and ask some questions yourself!

Log into Twitter at 11am on 28 February, follow @freshbusines and @journolink and keep an eye out for the hashtag #journolink and get involved!

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