Are you generating business stories worth spreading?

I heard a fascinating presentation from the Bell Pottinger (North) group yesterday. They’re public relations experts and the topic was how to use social media as a powerful PR tool in business.

At the end one of the presenters told me a great story about a man who was travelling on a train to Euston for an important business meeting. He’d made an extra effort that morning to look his best (smart suit, pressed shirt) but nothing could have prepared him for the lady passenger who stumbled as she walked by, spilling coffee over him!

Interestingly, the lady from the PR agency hadn’t witnessed the incident first hand – she’d picked up a tweet from the poor man along the lines of…”OMG, woman just spilt coffee over my suit and on way to big meet. Why me???” 

As it happens, the PR lady knew someone at the train company and she tweeted/called her suggesting they rectify the situation in a novel way. It might go like this: 

Train manager is alerted to the incident. The man is comforted by staff and provided with napkins, water, etc (in first class). He’s asked to meet a train company manager when he gets off at Euston and there’s a taxi waiting to whisk him to the nearest men’s outfitters. They fit him up for a new suit, shirt and tie (photographer present), the train company foots the bill (in fact the retailers go halves) and you’ve got the PR scoop of the year! 

Did it happen? Did it heck, but wouldn’t it have been fabulous? 

A few points here: 

  • I like the way the woman from Bell Pottinger thinks – I’d want them doing my PR! 
  • It’s amazing how the immediacy and reach of twitter creates opportunities like this. 
  • If you get a chance to create a PR scoop like this, seize it!
  • Good stories get spread. 

So as a parting shot, as yourself if you’re creating/spotting opportunities like this for stories about your business? You’ve probably got some amazing incidents to draw upon, but I’ll bet they’re not being captured. Think like that PR lady and you’ll realise how much you’ve got that’s worth talking about.

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