Summer drought: 7 story ideas to generate publicity
Piggybacking story ideas onto the weather is one of the very best ways to generate publicity for your product, service, cause or issue.
Severe weather, like the drought this summer throughout much of the United States, improves your chances for publicity.
Here in Wisconsin, the grass is usually deep green this time of year. But the grass in my backyard crunches under my feet. I can’t even remember the last time we had a significant rainfall.
If you live in an area that’s experience a drought, here are story ideas that just might get you onto TV or into your local newspapers. Remember bloggers, too!
1. The correct way to water a garden during a drought.
I usually “wet down” my perennials daily. Is a better option to give them a good drenching less frequently?
Gardening experts and nurseries, offer your best tips for your area.
2. How will this affect prices at local farmer’s markets or in the grocery store?
At a local farmer’s market last week, a woman who sells fresh boquets told me almost all her flowers have been wiped out. The few perennials that remain will be sold at higher prices that what she’d normally charge.
Supermarkets, farmer’s markets, horticulture experts and others should comment on how the absence of rain will affect prices.
3. How bad does it have to get before local communities start banning outdoor use of water?
Southwest Florida and the city of Denver already have water restrictions in place.
Municipalities that provide water can share tips on how to conserve, and also explain how far away the community is from an outdoor watering ban.
4. Retail outlets that sell lawn mowers can share ideas on how they’re marketing other products.
This past winter, companies that sold snow blowers were hit hard by the very warm winter. This year, it’s the lawn mower retailers that are seeing low sales because brown grass doesn’t need to be cut.
Retailers, what else are you doing to bring customers through the door?
5. What do you have to go through, and how much are you spending on water, to keep flowers looking fresh and pretty?
Garden clubs typically have their annual garden walks this time of year, before everything is fried to a crisp. And homeowners who have committed to opening their gardens have got to be sweating in more ways than one. Garden clubs, pitch a story on your garden walk with the drought angle. Interview homeowners so you can include a few juicy nuggets along with your pitch.
Shopping malls and other retail centers, convention centers or companies that have large outdoor floral displays, how much higher is your water bill now than during a normal summer season? Even city and county parks and rec departments can piggyback onto this one, because so many parks have floral gardens.
If you have gorgeous photos at your website, pin them on Pinterest along with tips in the description. Not pinning yet? Learn how here.
6. Offer tips on how to conserve on water.
Here’s a good one for you marriage counselors. Will showering with your spouse improve your marriage? (Don’t laugh. The media love this stuff.)
What are some good ways to conserve water around the house, such as when you’re doing dishes, so you can use what normally would go down the drain to water your garden?
7. Consider a contest tied to the drought.
Humor speakers and writers, sponsor a contest at your blog and on the social media sites on ‘It’s so dry, that ____________” and ask readers to fill in the blank. Award prizes.
Be sure to read the Terms of Service regarding contests if you’re announcing this on a site other than your own.
OK, Hounds. What ideas have I missed?
A Tool That Can Help You:
Lots more tips in Special Report #37: How to Tie Your Product, Service, Cause or Issue to the Weather. I explain all the reasons why weather stories are fabulous publicity opportunities. I show you how to contact the media before they contact someone else, and whom to pitch at various media outlets. You can also learn about enticing little extras you can offer with your pitch to convince them to cover you.