It’s always the little things that make a big difference.

I’ve been publishing work for more than a decade now, and spent more than three years in the newsroom at my last position with a regional newspaper, covering everything from missing cats to murder trials.

While it’s usually apparent what issues drive the news agenda, some of my favourite stories really are ones that come out of the little snippets of information you pick up while looking into weightier stories.

From a throw-away comment from a contact or a grumble from one of your reliable sources, you can easily find an interesting lead-length article about things that really matter.

It’s a skill I’ve found really useful here at Outwrite – the ingredients to a great story in my past life as a reporter are just as valuable when weighing up PR opportunities for our clients.

I can think of a handful of pieces I’m currently preparing based on things clients have mentioned in passing. These little nuggets were important enough for them to mention to me, and are therefore important enough for others to read about.

The beauty of having been in a newsroom is that you get used to finding something different say about even the most tired of news subjects – that’s the difference between a glossy-looking page lead and something that gets trimmed down to a nib.

A quirky bit of information, an eye-catching line or heart-felt passion driving the issue – these are the things that really make decent pieces of news into great stories (provided you can throw in an eye-catching image!).

It really pays dividends to think outside the box when generating PR – whether that’s a fresh angle on a news story or something out of the ordinary to bring positive attention to your company.