Those of us who are running businesses of our own are always happy to turn the page on another year and celebrate a business anniversary. In these daunting times, getting the chance to suit up and do what we do for another year is certainly cause for celebration.
Business anniversaries, however, aren't typically what folks in the media refer to as news. You can earn media attention for your business anniversary when you frame your story in a broader context.
Just yesterday, I read a piece in the Seattle Times about the Boy Scouts of America celebrating 100 years. Woven into the story were anecdotes from prominent business executives from the Puget Sound region who consider the lessons they learned along their respective journeys to earn the rank of Eagle Scout among the most valuable for informing their success today.
When Alice Cunningham, co-owner of Olympic Hot Tub Company, was preparing to celebrate her 30th business anniversary, she made the story relevant by showcasing how she wasn't afraid to learn new skills to communicate in new and powerful ways– such as launching her blog at www.hottubbliss.com — to serve her ever expanding community of hot tub loving consumers. The Tacoma News Tribune was happy to tell that story.
Just last week, I met with Val Scalvo, co-owner of Heartland Interiors, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in February and throughout 2010. Since February is a month with a “heart” theme, and this company has “heart” in its name, that is a fun and timely story hook. What is even better is how this business got its humble start. As Val says, it was with high hopes and high expectations that Val and her best friend Diane Wainhouse walked to their community bank to each deposit $75 to start their business. Today, Heartland Interiors celebrates 25 years, having grown their business to average over $1 million in revenues for each of the last few years, even in these daunting economic times. They have learned some powerful lessons along the way from which other business owners who are eager to start businesses with equally humble beginnings can profit. Our story pitch along these lines has enlisted interest among at least one local news outlet, and that is encouraging news so far.
What these stories share in common is that they meet the recipe for news. They offer timely, newsworthy, relevant, and interesting stories that answer this essential question: Why should the reader, listener, or viewer care?
It isn't the anniversary that is newsworthy. It is how relevant and interesting the back story associated with that anniversary that makes the news.
Speaking of business anniversaries, my own business is celebrating its ninth anniversary this year. I've got a number of things brewing to make that celebration relevant and compelling for you. Among them is an anniversary sale that will run from March 1 – 7, 2010 with amazing values never before offered before. That may not be the stuff to earn front page news, but I promise you the information you'll learn will be of high value so you can apply it to bring YOUR OWN story to front page news. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more details!