guest speaker

Who cares what a journalist thinks? You?

Sue and I have just attended a networking event in Swindon which we regularly attend.

We like the event’s very relaxed, social atmosphere and had invited a client along too (Tailored For You). When I arrived, Sue and our client were chatting away happily – and not with each other. Always a good sign.


If you’re wondering, the event was run by Business Scene.

There’s a guest speaker at every event and this one was no exception. This time it was a marketing expert sharing tips about how to make marketing, selling, business enjoyable and easier. Lots of good stuff in there and I’m glad to say that Sue and I felt we’d already, quite naturally, employed some of her tactics.

But it made me think. Should I be a guest speaker?

One of the tips was to tell personal stories – what personal stories would anyone out there want to hear from me? Well, as a journalist I’ve had a varied and interesting career. I’ve probably got stories coming out of my ears. But could I talk about business, SMEs in particular? I thought tonight I’d have a go.

As a business person, I get loads of stuff through my door inviting me to this free business seminar, or that business event – and when I see these flyers they are soon decorating my orange box. Do you feel like that? Is the word business a turn-off? What do you think a journalist thinks?

When I was told I was to be appointed business editor of my local newspaper in the mid-1990s, I almost stifled a yawn. How dull would that be? A more senior role writing about dull and boring stuff.

What I learned was that business isn’t actually dull at all – not when you realise you are writing about PEOPLE who happen to be in business.

You are writing about events which are organised, attended and enjoyed by PEOPLE. A human face can be put on almost anything.

It was at that time my job to go out and do that very thing. Tell business stories in an interesting way. Then there were multiple reporters on the newspaper. Today there are a handful. If businesses want publicity, more often than not, they need to blow their own trumpet or they won’t be noticed by any journalist.

If you look at your business and you think ‘who will want to read about my work, my company, it’s so mundane’. STOP IT! Your stories are all before you, if you just take the time to look. It’s about PEOPLE, it’s about ‘QUIRKY’, it’s about ‘UNUSUAL’. Put a human face on your business and you are a long way towards having a news sense.

Don’t forget pictures too, especially moving ones – essential for some businesses eg. hotels, venues. Moving pictures are becoming more and more important – think social media, think You-Tube, think about the choice that consumers enjoy today.


think people, think quirky, think pictures...

And of course, if writing or pictures are not  for you, you may need a Sue or a Fiona to help Р(sorry had to get that plug in!)

Recent Comments