No matter the PR strategy, creating newsworthy content is crucial. This is just as true when writing a guest article for a client as it is when pitching a story.
However, it can be challenging to come up with newsworthy content in PR. While newsworthiness may seem subjective, there are a few tried and true ways that will make your story stand out.
While your content may be newsworthy, remember that the treatment is just as important as the topic. You need to pay attention to how you deliver the said newsworthy content, not just what it is. As you deliver the content, do so in a way that appeals to the community and audience.
Read more: What makes a story newsworthy?
Here are some tips that will help you create solid, newsworthy content that will enable you to gain traction, leads, and even headlines in the local media.
- Think like a journalist
- Manufacture thought leadership
- Impress with data
- Share relatable stories
Think Like a Journalist
What makes a story newsworthy? Well, the first step to creating newsworthy content in PR is to think like a journalist.
Start by keeping the elements of newsworthiness at the front of your mind when thinking of a story. Like a journalist, use these values to find stories that make a big impact on your audience. These values include:
Generally, the more values you can include in your story, the more newsworthy it’s likely to be. However, you don’t necessarily need to include all of them. Keep your audience in mind when you decide which value will be your priority, and write stories with content that will be newsworthy to them.
For example, a nonprofit organization may choose to prioritize stories that showcase their impact on the community, while a new tech startup may choose to prioritize those that focus on the novelty of the digital technologies used.
Manufacture Thought Leadership
You are not always going to be lucky enough to find newsworthy content in PR that you can easily work into your brand. Maybe nothing relevant is happening in the news, and your client has normal day-to-day operations. In these cases, you need to be ready to manufacture thought leadership content.
The goal here is to create news that will be value-adding for your readers and target audience. This way, you can build your brand’s credibility and establish a relationship with them.
Creativity is important. This will go a long way when using newsjacking. “Newsjacking” refers to when you insert your client into the conversation about breaking news stories. This is a creative way of generating original content that is relevant and newsworthy. For example, if there is recent news on environmental friendliness, you could mention similar sustainable methods that your company uses. As you get creative, remember to pay attention to the audience. Avoid newsjacking tragedies or controversial topics as this may make yourself appear to be insensitive and tone-deaf. You also need to find a way to make a deeper connection; superficial connections can seem forced.
Examine industry trends
In addition to newsjacking, you can examine industry trends in order to pinpoint your newsworthy content. Identify these trends, explain, and share them with others. This type of content works very well as thought leadership. It keeps your client relevant, as readers will want to read about the latest innovations. It also helps position your client as an authority in the industry. They will seem knowledgeable, and not only will potential customers associate them with the latest information, journalists will also be more inclined to cover your client’s stories. This will definitely drive more newsworthy content for you and your client.
Impress with facts and figures
One of the most popular angles is to create data-driven stories. If there are facts and figures in your story, focus on those. This gives readers a measurable impact of your business efforts.
Journalists love data. When ACUHO-I’s Annual State of ResNet Report was published earlier this year, it was found that media outlets chose stories based on the strength of the numbers and whether there were infographics included. Articles that included reports sharing insights on industry trends tend to stick out more to journalists who may want to include them in larger news stories.
It also reduces the potential for biases, which readers will want to avoid. Simply including figures adds credibility to your story. Even better – you can include proprietary data, as other content journalists may decide to cite your content to share those figures.
When deciding how to include your data, consider using graphics and infographics. Those are highly shareable, break up the text to make it more readable, and help people skim the piece.
Share relatable stories
One of the most popular approaches is to position newsworthy content as a human-interest story that’s relevant and relatable for your audience. Maybe you’re a tech startup, and you want to share the benefits your tech product provides. Instead of a plain list of these benefits, consider using a more compelling angle by including a story on how your product helped improve or transform a real customer’s life.
A relatable, personal story such as a person overcoming obstacles to achieve their goals or adapting to the changes amidst the pandemic is likely to be newsworthy.
And no – these individuals do not have to be famous or prominent for the story to be newsworthy. As long as a story is interesting and relatable, it has the potential to capture readers.
Human-interest stories also promote shares and comments on social media, improving your brand’s reach. So if possible, insert pictures with the stories to better appeal to your readers’ emotions and promote sharing.
Appeal with localised content
When you cannot decide what approach to take with your story, go for a “local” angle. Focus on how the story affects locals or the community.
This always helps readers feel a connection to the story and makes it newsworthy content. This is why, whenever there is a tragedy that affects many people, each country or city generally focuses on the affected people from their area.
It also applies in more positive cases. For example, if a local participates in a major competition of some sort, you can focus on their journey leading up to the competition. It doesn’t matter if they win; the journey will interest locals. That example is a combination of taking the local angle and crafting a human-interest piece.
Creating newsworthy content is no easy feat, but a good understanding of newsworthiness is one step ahead of the game.
If you want to know more about what public relations entails and how to make a story of your own newsworthy for a larger audience, speak to us at [email protected] today.