USA Today says that globally, 2006 was likely the sixth-warmest on record, although final worldwide data won’t be available until March.
If you’ve experienced the winter heat wave, think of interesting story ideas you can pitch to the media. My local newspapers and TV stations are reporting on all kinds of local angles, from an absence of snowmen to the many species of birds that are staying at home instead of migrating south.
Here are four ways to piggyback your story onto the unusual winter weather.
1. How does the warmer weather and lack of snow affect your business, particularly if you’re a cold-weather business like a ski lodge? What are you doing differently to lure customers?
2. TV weather people are always on the lookout for fun, interesting “warm winter” news items for the weather segment of the nightly news.
3. Are you seeing unusual things during January and February? I am. Here in Wisconsin, I’ve spotted people in shorts at the local mall. Consider photographing what you see and offering the photo to your newspaper.
4. A warm winter means lower utility bills. TV stations love to interview utility customers who can, for example, compare this year’s and last year’s utility bills and talk about how much they’re saving.
Look around you for lots more ideas.
My friend Shawne Duperon, a TV reporter in Michigan, reminds me that the weather is news 365 days a year. So take advantage of it.
Learn who the “Queen Bee” is at your local TV station. That’s the person responsible for deciding what gets on the air and what doesn’t. Shawne discussed this when she was my guest during a teleseminar we conducted a few years ago called “How to Get on the Local TV News Tomorrow.”