Is Your News Newsworthy?

Clients look to us for advice on what is or is not newsworthy before sending out a press release. We thought it would be helpful to share some tips to help you decide if your news is newsworthy!

Timing

The word news means exactly that…things which are new. With the use of smart phones and tablets, consumers are constantly receiving the latest updates. There is so much news that it becomes old news quickly. A story with only average interest needs to be told quickly if it is to be told at all. If it happened today, it’s news. If the same thing happened last week, it’s no longer interesting.

Numbers

The number of people affected by the story is important. Local, daily, and weekly media follow national industry stories…these stories may prompt a reporter to ask you about local community angles or the impact of the issue on your organization. Events that have an impact on readers, that have real consequences for their lives, are bound to be newsworthy.

Novelty

Another old saying in the news business goes, “When a dog bites a man, no one cares. When the man bites back – now that’s a news story.” The idea, of course, is that any deviation from the normal, expected course of events is something novel, and thus newsworthy.

Prominence

Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous. If you break your arm it won’t make the news, but if the President of the United States breaks his arm it’s big news.

Human Interest

Human interest stories often disregard the main rules of newsworthiness; for example, they don’t date as quickly, they need not affect a large number of people, and it may not matter where in the world the story takes place. These are stories that appeal to emotion.

Conflict

Conflict is newsworthy because as humans, we are naturally interested in conflict. Think of movies and books, they all have some type of conflict. Conflict can even turn an otherwise dull-sounding story into something fascinating.

Research

A good test is to look at the newspaper. If you can’t find a story in the newspaper that’s similar to the topic of your press release, it’s probably not newsworthy. Likewise, look at industry-specific news sources (newsletters, official websites, etc.) If they don’t run stories about what you’re releasing, your news most likely will not be well received.

Do you need help finding angles for your story? Give us a call, we are happy to help!

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