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News You Can Use

Make your business relevant to what's happening in the world.

When new Transportation Security Administration guidelines banning most airline carry-ons and liquids were announced last September, Adam Gilvar, 33, saw opportunity. His New York City clothing storage company, Garde Robe, already offered luggage-free service that could help travelers bypass luggage restrictions.

"Our first thought was that we have a solution for this," Gilvar says. However, his service hadn't been heavily marketed, so he immediately sent an e-mail reminder to customers. There has since been an upswing in demand among his existing clientele, and he's successfully using luggage-free travel as a hook to land new customers.

Sandra Beckwith, author of Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans, offers these tips to use the news for marketing.

Tune in. Read and watch the news to spot stories that relate to your business.

Be ready. Prepare lists of the media and your customers so that you can capitalize on an opportunity quickly.

Talk it out. Says Beckwith, "When news breaks, use your standard communications vehicles--e-mail, phone, fax, website--to get ahead of your competition and provide your target audience with the news and tips on how to deal with it." For the media, offer to be a local source for a national story or write an op-ed on an issue that affects your business.

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the June 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: News You Can Use.

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