Five content ideas for press releases

Like most things in life, coming up with ideas for the news section of your website gets easier with practice. To get started, it can be helpful to think about the different types of news that your company generates. Typically, these will include:

  1. Company news. A new contract, entering a new market, collaborating with a new business partner, winning an award, increasing staff numbers, experiencing a surge in demand for your products or services — all of these are potential news stories that could be of interest to your clients and/or customers.
  2. New appointments. News of new appointments to your board of directors or senior leadership team will be of interest to your customers, business partners, employees and shareholders.
  3. Sponsorships and CSR activity. News of your company’s sponsorships and participation in corporate social responsibility initiatives will be of interest to your customers, employees, community and other stakeholders.
  4. Seasonal tips and advice. Many businesses have expertise that is relevant at particular times of the year. From career advice for recent graduates to tips on getting your car ready for a cold winter — whatever your firm’s particular expertise, it’s a good idea to think about seasonal opportunities to issue relevant press releases.
  5. Comment and insight. There is no shortage of new regulations, statistics and Government reports in the news each week. Your insights into the potential impact of these developments will be of interest not only to your customers but also to journalists who want to understand the impact on particular industries or individuals. Even if your press release does not get picked up when issued, a journalist may come across it and contact you the next time they cover the particular issue.

Remember, whether you are sharing company news, insights or seasonal tips, the key is to focus on what your readers will find helpful and interesting. 

For more on this topic, see How to generate content ideas.

2017 Key Dates Ireland | H1 January-June

Calendar graphic | 2017 Key Dates Ireland article
Image source: canva.com

Comms teams preparing their 2017 Key Dates Ireland listings may find this table helpful.

It lists selected events for the first half of 2017. Note that the dates and events were compiled through web research and that:

  • the listing is not comprehensive
  • may not be accurate
  • details may change
  • events may be cancelled

So, it’s important to check before using the listings. I’ve included links to help with this.

I hope you find the table useful.

If you would like an Excel version, please contact me.

Selected 2017 Key Dates Ireland | January-June

Day

January

February

March

April

May

June

1

New Year’s Day April Fools’ Day May Bank Holiday

2

3

4

5

June Bank Holiday

6

All Ireland Business Summit. 6 April. Dublin.

7

Facilities Management Ireland 2017.  7—8 March. Dublin. GradIreland Summer Fair. 7 June. Dublin.

8

International Women’s Day.

9

10

Museums for Peace Conference. 10—13 April. Belfast. ACI World Congress. 10 May. Dublin.                          Futurescope 2017. 10 May. Dublin.

11

Pendulum Summit. 11—12 January. Dublin.                     BT Young Scientist Exhibition. 11-14 January. Dublin.

12

Irish Beauty Show. 12—13 March. Dublin.

13

14

Valentine’s Day.        Research & Innovation Conference. 14 February. Dublin. Good Friday             Titanic Gathering 14—15 April. Belfast.

15

Dublin Tech Summit. 15—16 February. Dublin. ACI Europe Regional Airports Conference. 15—17 May. Cork.

16

17

Annual Global Air Finance Conference. 17 January. Dublin.                        St Patrick’s Day Easter Monday

18

GamerCon. 18 March. Dublin. Father’s Day

19

20

21

Permanent TSB Ideal Home Show. 21—23 April. Dublin. National Construction Summit. 21 June. Dublin.

22

Showcase Ireland Exhibition. 22—25 January. Dublin

23

Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair. 23 February. Dublin. Routes Europe 2017. 23—25 April. Belfast.

24

European Financial Forum. 24 January. Dublin.

25

Annual Global Funds Conference. 25 May. Dublin. World Sponge Conference. 25—30 June. Galway.

26

Mother’s Day

27

Space Studies Programme. 26 June — 18 August 2017. Cork.

28

Shrove Tuesday.

29

30

Tech Connect Live. May 30—31. Dublin.

31

Prepared 29 November 2016. Note that information may be subject to change.

Business networking : the human factor

Last year, when I began to freelance, I resolved to make time for business networking. When you work alone, networking is particularly important because it

  • stimulates creativity,
  • helps to keep you up to date,
  • creates business opportunities,
  • generates leads.

Local enterprise offices, chambers of commerce, professional firms and industry organisations all organise networking events. So, it’s fairly easy to find relevant events where you can meet local businesses or interact with people in your industry and learn from their experiences.

Often, these interactions spark ideas that enrich existing projects. Sometimes, they lead to new business opportunities. Occasionally, they take you in entirely unexpected directions.

The human factor in business networking

Recently, a contact I made at a networking event called with a surprise invitation. Anita Donoghue is business development manager at The Buff Day Spa in Dublin. We met earlier this year at a networking breakfast attended by about 200 women. More than any other conversation that morning, the few minutes I spent talking to Anita remained in my mind long after the event. Why? Because we discovered a shared interest in natural skincare. So, months after the event, when The Buff Day Spa wanted someone to sample a new facial, Anita thought of me and got in touch.

Anita’s unexpected invitation got me thinking about the human factor in networking. Usually, when we think about improving our networking skills, we focus on our elevator pitch, on collecting business cards and following up with connection requests on LinkedIn, on moving on from conversations if it’s not immediately obvious how they might benefit our business. Yet, it’s often when we discover shared interests that we create the strongest connections. So perhaps the lesson is to focus more on the human factor. I’ll certainly keep that in mind at my next business networking event.

 

LinkedIn email driving you crazy?

Catherine O’Mahony dislikes LinkedIn email, according to her article in today’s Sunday Business Post*. She doesn’t like unsolicited invitations to connect. She doesn’t like unasked for endorsements. She’s not sure what ‘connections’ are all about. In short, she doesn’t like LinkedIn much at all.  She’d rather be ‘Linked Out’.

I’m interested in what O’Mahony has to say because she echoes criticisms I’ve heard other people make about LinkedIn. People really do hate those LinkedIn email invitations and it seems most don’t know how to turn them off. (If that’s you, you’ll find instructions for how to change your LinkedIn communication preferences at the end of this short article.)

Where I differ from O’Mahony, however, is that I find LinkedIn useful — not so much for viewing profiles or checking who’s viewed mine — but rather for following the comments and market insights of people whose opinion I value.  Typically, these people are not so-called ‘influencers’. They’re more likely to be people I encounter in real life and do business with.

Of course, not everyone has something interesting to say and those who do, don’t always share their insights on LinkedIn. But some do, and those — for me at least — are reason enough to log on from time to time and have a read.

What I do use LinkedIn profiles for is background research. It can be helpful when a new customer is someone you didn’t previously know. Seeing the connections you have in common is reassuring and can be helpful in establishing trust when building a new business relationship.

LinkedIn is also useful for following up contacts made at meetings and industry events. Every so often, I take out those business cards I’ve collected, have a look through them and then send a short message. It’s surprising how often following up these contacts opens up business opportunities.

But, like O’Mahony, I’m not a fan of LinkedIn email. I changed my preferences to cut it out. If you want to follow suit, here’s how to do it:

How to change your LinkedIn email preferences

  • Log on to LinkedIn and click your image in the top right corner.
  • Select ‘Privacy and Settings”
  • Then select ‘Communications’ and update your preferences so that you only receive the email you want.

* Sunday Business Post (magazine section) 26 June 2016.