This week has been all about news; media briefings to announce a client’s intent to sell the business, new products for the Garden Press Event and launching the hunt for applicants for a bursary scheme.
So what makes something newsworthy?
There are some simple things to bear in mind if you want to push your news up the agenda.
See the story from the journalist’s perspective and ask yourself why they should be bothered about it. Be completely honest. Would you really be interested if you were in their shoes? If the answer’s no, your story needs a lot more work.
It might be a great story but journalists get lots of great stories pitched to them every day. They can’t run them all. So how do they choose? Topicality matters. The ones they run are time critical; there’s a compelling reason to run it today. The others get put to one side to be used ‘as and when’. But ‘as and when’ may never come. So give the journalist a reason to publish now.
Your story may be brilliant but no journalist will cover it if it’s not relevant to their readers, listeners or viewers. The Sheffield Star won’t cover a piece on a Coventry-based business; a story on complex national economics is unlikely to make it on to the regional TV news; it’s difficult to see how a piece on a new technical innovation will get covered in a women’s magazine.
People are hard wired to be in relationship with others. So it’s not surprising we’re interested in people. Real people bring colour, they make it possible for us to feel personally involved.
A story already high on the news agenda could give you the perfect platform for a comment. Everything from the football transfer window to the EU referendum, an announcement on interest rates to the lack of diversity on the Oscars shortlist can present an opportunity. You could be the one to explain the story’s importance. If it’s on its second cycle, journalists need a new angle. You could be the one to provide it.
Man bites dog is news. Dog bites man is not. Does your story buck the trend, challenge assumptions, make people think again. Yes, then it’s probably a great piece of news.
Give me a call if you want to push your news up the agenda!