What Makes Your News a Good Story?

By Andy Lowe

As a PR agency, one of our key asks is to determine what client announcements, product launches, new hires, etc., constitute a story worthy of the press or alternative channels such as blog posts, social media, media alerts or a newsletter. While there isn’t a fixed rule, some fundamental principles can guide your decisions. First, let’s look at what makes news newsworthy.  

Five Factors of Newsworthiness: 

Person viewing news article on device
Photo courtesy of Pexels

  The definition of newsworthy is in the name, but if you are new to the term, it means the information you have holds value for the press or an audience. Below are five factors Landis Communications uses to determine whether a story will hold interest:  

  • Timeliness – How recent is your news? How does it track what is happening in the rest of the world, your industry, your customer’s region? 
  • Impact – Is your announcement going to impact your company monumentally? Will it alleviate major industry pains? Will it change how your industry operates? 
  • Conflict – Does your product or announcement challenge norms or address a major issue? Does your action go against industry trends? Conflict inherently generates interest as people want to see how it gets resolved.  
  • Proximity – Technology and a global mindset mean the public is much more aware of what is going on in the world, but news that impacts their daily lives in a big way makes it newsworthy.  
  • Novelty (Uniqueness) – What is so unique about your news? Is it attached to a big name or brand? Is your news truly a first for your industry?  

The Interesting and The Unusual 

 When analyzing your news, it is crucial to think about how it differentiates you from your competitors and your industry. Many companies have comparable products, but if yours has been tested by large companies or used by celebrities, that’s something to celebrate and promote.  

Other factors or novelties can include celebrities and big names in attendance at an event you’re hosting or if your product has solved a problem that has plagued your industry for years – this is your wow factor; make the most of it.  

What is the Why?   

The Why is something Landis works with clients on from the very start. Based on Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, Start With Why, the Why is the company’s true purpose, but it also factors into company news. When considering whether your information is essential, it is always vital to tie it into your Why. Not only will it help frame the messaging of your announcement, but it ties your news into a universal theme that journalists and customers can understand.  

Seeing is Believing  

 No matter the platform, it’s important to have visual components to your news. Before pitching journalists, it’s essential to think about visuals to go along with your story. Most corporate announcements feature a CEO headshot. Most event announcements feature the official logo or a visual from the previous year. If you can, try and provide some interesting visuals. 

Depending on the type of news you are announcing, you may have media onsite to take their own photos or b-roll, but not every journalist will have the resources or ability to attend – planning for photo opportunities and taking your own professional images makes their job that much easier. You can also use your photos to promote your news on your channels (website, blog posts, social media, etc.).  

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