The Made in Northumberland project has appealed to businesses in the county to use local produce and suppliers and to create partnerships and networks that utilise everything that is great about Northumberland. There has been a fantastic response with many individuals, companies and organisations making changes that will not only boost their own businesses but create community spirit for locals and an all round better experience for visitors. A vital component to making change is to let people know about it, and however you feel about talking to journalists, having your story in a local paper or a business magazine is, without doubt, worth the bother of having to prepare a press release and chat to someone who is, after all, under pressure to find an interesting story.
Our toolkit has been put together by freelance PR consultant Barbara Huddart who gives advice on how to get an angle on your story that will appeal to journalists and prepares you for a passage into the world of PR. There is also guidance for gathering information that can be put away until it’s needed; a media fact sheet for instance and a photo library, which can take some of the work out of creating a press release when it comes along.
Your media fact sheet
This is brief background and contact information for your business and should accompany all press releases. It ensures that the recipient knows a little about your company whilst it also helps to embroider your story. There’s the obvious too: the journalist will know who to contact and how, should they choose to take up your story. It also doubles up as a good template for information to have on your website.
Points to bear in mind are: remember the press knows nothing about your business, so even the simplest facts are relevant; they love to hear about things that are quirky and different, and keep it short and snappy: bullet points are easy to browse.
The information to put on your fact sheet is as follows:
- Name of your business
- Contact person
- Contact details
- Website address
- Overview of your business
- The history; your reason for starting for example
- What is special/different about your business?
- What are your Unique Selling Points (USPs)?
- Awards and accolades
- Costs: menu examples or product range
Your media fact sheet can be put together and kept in a safe place long before a press release, because much of the information will remain current, at least until you need to update it to add your latest award!