Make Business News Headlines

A request came in to the Iowa Business Concierge that I thought I would share, as it illustrates a great way to brainstorm potential business expansion or business promotion ideas. Instead of taking on the risk of trying something new yourself, see if someone else has already hit on something hot outside of your market area but in your industry. You can find great ideas by searching local newspapers for keywords as they relate to your business. In the aforementioned Business Concierge request, this client was looking for some general industry trends about specialty bakeries, and in particular, cupcake shops.

When you want to do a search of news stories, Google News search is a great option. However, Google News has its limitations. Most news agencies only post breaking news and keep an online archive of past news stories for a limited time. In order to find specialty articles, like small cupcake shops who hit it big with a great idea three months ago, you’ll need a better repository from which to search from. Here is where your city library can help. Locally, we have a great Cedar Falls Public Library, staffed by research specialists. Chances are you’re pretty close to one too.

In their collections, they have many great database subscriptions, especially one product called EBSCOHost. EBSCOHost specializes in newspaper and magazine articles and has content that dates back years.

When we started to dig in, we found all sorts of neat ideas. Some included pairing cupcakes with wine and beer, how a TV show boosted profits for Magnolia Bakery and spurred economic development on Bleecker St., how one marketing company launched a cupcake queen contest via social media, and even the creation of the perfect vegan cupcake.

As small business owners, your time is limited. Searching through local newspapers to find new and innovative marketing ideas is a great and easy way to come up with ways to reignite interest in your brand and pickup a potential news story. Chances are, if another business owner was able to get featured for their creative idea, why not use a similar one to stir local interest? After all, it’s not like you have to create the world’s largest cupcake :).

Rob Williams is a Business Analyst for the University of Northern Iowa. This post originally ran on IASourceLink, part of U.S.SourceLink – America’s largest resource network for entrepreneurs.

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