Here we are looking at another new year and considering our hopes, dreams, changes that might come or that we know are coming and another year older, if not wiser.
It staggers me to think that I’ll be 58 this year and I don’t feel a day over 30! It’s also going to be a year of travel as Steve plans our caravan tour 2024 and I hope it’s a year which brings much joy.
In my own business, I’ll be ringing some big changes – most for the good and for the smart development of the business. Those are stories for another day!
Thinking ahead, how can you use this ‘new year’ as a news hook? Here are eight suggestions to help you:
- Remember that New Year is one of periods of time in any year known as ‘silly season’ – the times when news is sparse, and journalists are often looking for stories. So keep your eyes open for requests for some of those – or just share some fun stories of your own.
- The weather will continue to be a story I suspect. Remember, if we have snow, or heavy rain we in the UK tend to go into ‘panic’ mode and because we do this, journalists write about it. Then there are the genuine weather events around wind, rain, floods, landslips, landslides, potholes etc. Local newspapers are always looking for photos and stories. If you have a pet that adores the snow, or conversely hates it take some photos – again, often local papers are looking for small stories to fill spaces.
The changes in our climate are going to continue to be something that is talked about. So, if you live in an area where flooding is an ongoing battle and despite flood precautions being put in place – it might be something you want to talk about. Especially if climate change is something close to your heart or linked to your business.
- Are there new legislations, rules or laws coming in for your sector in January or soon after? Help your clients and customers and maybe other businesses who are new to your sector, write a blog, that they can clearly navigate and gain understanding from. Or do a ‘warning’ story for the media around this.
- Data in your business is important to gather. Why? Because if you have a lot of clients, deal with a large number of people, or you run a community organisation or charity doing surveys with them up to four times a year will bring you stories. Believe it or not, data makes stories. Data can tell you lots of different things: ie. The area in the UK that has the most therapists, or the largest number of small business owners, or it is the area most informed about mental health issues. Data can pull out trends around postcodes and regions. You are probably already gathering data about sales, and understanding where your customers come from etc. So, make use of this for media stories. If you serve 500 people or more it can become a national survey, which can be used in media. If it’s a 100 or more, it might be suitable for local, regional or business press.
- Issues around trans rights, trans women and trans men. Hopefully the UK mainstream media will start to be more sympathetic, inclusive, helpful and supportive of this minority of our population who are still human beings. In the majority of cases, they just want to be happy. I don’t buy into the mantra that they are taking things away from women, we don’t hear that argument about trans men. I also don’t buy into the thinking that there’s a huge amount of people out there using the trans conversation in order to attack women. There are criminals in every sector of society.
Going through transition causes a huge change, not just in their lives, but also in their families lives too. These people are just trying to be happy with who they are within their own skin. And I do hope that the British media will start to support that. There’s nothing wrong with calling out criminals but we don’t have to take a whole sector of our society and criminalize them. For me, it’s just horrible and vile, but you’ll have to have your own take on that. If it’s something you know about and are happy to talk about – transition will continue to be a subject in 2024.
- Charities need to focus on case studies, because strong human interest stories are very important. Charities can talk about people who have received help from an organisation or charity who are willing to share their stories and outcomes – from the beginning, middle to the end. These kinds of case studies have always been important but will become even more important in 2024.
- Authenticity. The authentic voice should grow and move forward more strongly in 2024. As I mentioned in my recent blog Predictions for PR, with the rise of AI and as it gains more ground and becomes more embedded in our society, I think our personality, our own uniqueness will become more valuable and important. If you just focus continually on your business messages and the services you offer you are going to enter a world of beige vanilla where everyone else like you is doing the same. You won’t be set apart, it won’t thrill Google or other search engines just because it’s not unique. Use your authentic voice and be YOU.
- Lastly, thank customers and clients for this year, and how much you’re looking forward to working with them next year. And don’t forget to thank your staff. Are you welcoming new members, or losing anyone? This may not be national or even regional news, but it will be news to your clients.
Happy New Year to you all!