With our 10th birthday just around the corner, we thought we’d take the time to look at how businesses can make the most of anniversaries or milestones. Standing the test of time, no matter how many years you’ve been in business, is an achievement that’s definitely worth celebrating.
It’s also an opportunity to secure some positive PR in the media and strengthen your relationships with existing and potential clients, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders. Admittedly not everyone has the budget to hire a PR agency or an event planner, but there are activities you can do yourself, and involving your employees in the planning and execution is a great way of building staff morale.
Use your milestones as an excuse to get creative and have fun with your colleagues and clients; it’s unlikely you would have been so successful without them, so it seems only right that they’re able to share in the celebrations!
Capture the interest of the media
Everyone has a birthday, but what will you do to set yours apart from the others? What can you do to get yours picked up by the media? Are there any national events you can latch onto, such as the Queen’s Jubilee, or even the popular BBC baking show that sweetens up the nation…?!
Composing a great story with an engaging headline and interesting photo(s) is one way to cut through the noise and capture the interest of a journalist. And don’t just think locally - you can also pitch your celebration idea to journalists working for regional business or national trade media.
Whenever you’re drafting a news release, make sure you’re talking about interesting and relevant things. Consider following these basic steps which will help structure your story, milestone or not:
Title or headline: Keep it snappy and interesting and – most importantly – relevant to your story
Opening line: This should be an accurate and succinct summary of the whole story; mention the name of your business as soon as possible.
Expand: Provide the full story in more detail - consider the who, what, why, where, when, and how.
Quote: Include a relevant quote from a representative from the business or other organisation that is directly related to your news.
Further information: Provide any final details and calls to action here.
Contact details: These are important as you may find journalists want to ask more questions, so make sure you provide the details of the person best placed to respond.
Organising a party or small get together is a great way to celebrate your successes and encourage more business in the future. Invite those you’ve worked with in the past as well as those you’ve met or worked with most recently and anyone you’d like to get to know better. You can of course do this by creating an invite to send in the post, or via email using free software such as Mailchimp which is easy to use.
“Wow, I didn’t know that!”
An anniversary also provides the perfect opportunity to give a little more insight into your company and the people behind it. There will always be things that people won’t be aware of about your business, so creating a ‘did you know?’ campaign that captures those little-known elements will help with building relationships both inside and outside of your organisation; people will start to feel a connection with your business and your brand over and above that of your competitors.
It’s not just birthdays…
You can make all sorts of milestones newsworthy: new hires, long service awards for staff, charity fundraising, rebrands or office moves and large client wins all offer great talking points that can promote your business.
Identifying stories that will make interesting news pieces is second nature to us at Shooting Star, but doing so within your own business is something all team members should aim to master.
This post was originally published in issue 95 of Lincolnshire Business magazine.