Case Study: Group ‘milks’ health reform debate for marketing, PR value

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has a new report that estimates breastfeeding trends. Okay, the topic isn’t something that most of us are thinking about. But a press release the organization sent out Dec. 15, promoting a teleconference Dec. 17, stopped me in my tracks. What got me? The headline is:

Health Care Act Will Increase Breastfeeding among Working Women

Health, legal and general assignments have been writing and writing and writing about health care reform for more than two years. The public is tired of this vitally important topic. For reporters and editors, new angles are hard to come by.

The IWPR recognized this reality, and its staff found a way to piggyback on a red-hot topic, offering a great lesson for small business owners. The IWPR’s additional effort made me pay attention and I am sure I am not alone, which means more people are apt to cover the teleconference. See if the group doesn’t get press coverage Friday afternoon and all weekend.

The timely tie approach taken by the IWPR can pay off handsomely for small business owners – and not just for press releases, but for blogs and tweets. But as Bigger Pie Strategies, a small business marketing consultant, typically finds, that implementing this approach requires small business owners to tamp down the sentences promoting themselves and/or their products and services so they can include a topical reason someone might read their press release or blog post.

It can, and it should be done whenever possible. Connecting a press release to a timely topic can work in many cases. Here are just a few:

  • Unusual or extremely bad weather, which all media has to cover every time
  • A new law or policy
  • An upcoming holiday (editors and reporters love easy stories on holidays when they have a skeleton crew working)
  • The first or last day of school, the first really hot day of the summer, an unusual weather day

The only limitation is creativity. The additional effort required can really make for incredible marketing results.

(By the way, did you notice that this blog post trades on the same interest in health reform as the press release did?)

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