#PRPROTIP: What does being ‘newsworthy’ even mean?

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In 2018, it’s not enough just to have good media contacts and a consistent, proactive media distribution schedule for your business to attract organic PR. Your story has to be newsworthy.

Being newsworthy is a concept that many businesses struggle with. What stories does a journalist consider to be newsworthy? How do I find newsworthy content for my company? What does being ‘newsworthy’ even mean? 

Simply, being newsworthy means being topical. It means sending statements, media releases or comments that are noteworthy as news.

Of course, the definition of news will differ depending on the target media outlet you’re pitching to. For example - the BBC may consider a certain story worthy of publishing, but the same angle will get passed over by Huffington Post or Sky News TV.

Thankfully, there are a few distinct elements that help define a newsworthy story. You can use them as a checklist against your next media release or statement to determine its potential success and pick-up with journalists.

Let’s look at four key elements that make a story newsworthy:

Timeliness: How timely is the story? Is this new information? Are you issuing a press release about a statement in the news an hour ago, or an event launch later today? Make sure your stories are timely for publishing and they are sent to the media in advance.

Human Interest: Can you put a human face to your story? Often sharing a personal experience or quotes from a person relevant to your story can give it broader appeal for readers.

Proximity: Is your news happening in the region you’re pitching to? Often a story is made more newsworthy for a publication if an event or announcement happens in, or affects, the area nearest to the audience. 

Conflict: This is one of my favourite elements of creating a newsworthy story. Does your media release create a conflict – challenge a cultural norm, provide comment that’s fresh and different to what’s already been published in the news on an issue, do you have something shocking or surprising to convey to the public?

Keeping these elements in mind – it’s crucial to recognise that what may be newsworthy to you – and your internal team – may not actually be newsworthy to the media you’re pitching to.

Take your time, do your research, seek professional PR advice if you need – and spend time reading stories relevant to your industry in your target publications so you can assess what makes a story truly worthy of news.

Happy Newsworthy Pitching! :)

Katie Clift

Director | Katie Clift Consulting Pty Ltd | International PR Expert

Follow me via @katieclift or katieclift.com for more #PRProTips on local & international PR every week!

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Katie Clift