By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator of PrPro and Owner of Energy PR

Have you noticed how some people seem to be forever in the news? That’s because they are proactive. They are good at spotting an opportunity to comment — and then jumping in there to grab it with both hands. In the past week or so I’ve seen companies and pundits doing this with British Fashion Week, the government’s ‘GREAT’ campaign and the Dale Farm Gipsy eviction.

You can do this too. Here’s how…

- Keep an eye on the national news agenda.

- Create a timetable of up-coming announcements which you know are important and which are relevant to your business. 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). Be prepared in advance with your take on the story.

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

- 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 or 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, don’t write press releases, simply alert the media that you can comment, you’re relevant, you’re on top of the subject or you’re the expert - and run by them some quick thoughts which prove this and will excite them.

- Be prepared to be thought provoking

Follow Louise on twitter www.twitter.com/louisefw

If you are looking for a PR agency or want to do your own PR, contact Louise Findlay-Wilson on 01993 823011 or one of her businesses.

For training and tools so you can DIY PR visit www.prpro.co.uk

If you are looking for a 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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