Are You Worthy?
You’re a public relations professional. You’re organization has something that it wants covered by news outlets. Writing a press release and compiling what you need to pitch to the media is easy enough, right? But how can you be sure they will bite?
What is going to make your story newsworthy?
Let’s take a look at some major news sources’ top stories:
The New York Times:
- Escaped Inmates From Iraq Fuel Syrian Insurgency
- Over 1 Million Added to Rolls of Health Plan
- Comcast Deal Seeks to Unite 2 Cable Giants
The Washington Post:
- With storm blowing in, the region braces for the worst
- Health insurance enrollment on target in January
- Foreign regimes use spyware against journalists, even in U.S.
- Afghanistan releases 65 prisoners despite strong U.S. objections
- Comcast deal to face antitrust hurdles
- Ice storm wallops Southeast, stranding drivers, cutting power
- Oregon facing pressure, probes over dysfunctional Obamacare website
- Ohio National Guard drill’s villain was school janitor who supports Second Amendment
- Winter storm wreaking havoc along the East Coast after slamming South
So what are these stories about? They report on national security issues, health insurance policy, a winter storm pummeling the East coast, and big business. All of the stories above have at least some of the elements below to make them newsworthy.
Elements of Newsworthiness:
- Timing. Just happened, happening now, or going to happen soon. A week ago won’t cut it.
- Proximity. How close it is to people matters. Something closer has greater importance than something halfway across the world.
- Significance. How many people are affected?
- Relevance. How does this affect people? Why is it relevant to their lives?
- Prominence. Who is involved? People like famous people.
- Conflict. We live our lives in stories! People love a conflict, especially one with a resolution.
- Human Interest. Appeal to people’s emotions. Help them connect to the story.
- Novelty. Something out-of-the-ordinary catches people by surprise.