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What makes a story newsworthy - banner

One of the most difficult things to do is create newsworthy content that is relevant to your brand. But, what makes a story newsworthy? Despite its importance, it can be really challenging for brands to come up with newsworthy content that’s relevant to your company, the media and your customers.

This isn’t a simple task, unfortunately, as to make your story worthwhile enough to get coverage or even elicit a response from a journalist, you need to understand what is actually a good story.

To help you get started, we put together a simple set of criteria that you must follow in order to get your story featured in the news. So here’s what makes your story newsworthy:

Is your story relevant to the media?

What makes a story newsworthy - think like a journalist
Thinking like a journalist is what makes a story newsworthy

You have to think like a journalist. What this means is that you need to have an understanding of what makes a story relevant to the publication and what people want to read. We have broken it up into the following:

  • Timeliness
  • Impact
  • Oddity
  • Conflict
  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Prominence 

If you can create a story that includes all seven of these news values, then you should be on the path to success. However, you don’t necessarily need to include all of them. Keep your audience in mind when you decide which will be your priorities. Impact comes from stories that look at the benefits or tangible improvements achieved by your brand, product, solution or more, while timeliness might involve a story that is relevant to a hot topic that’s making the news at this moment.

Another important aspect of thinking like a journalist is learning how to skew the angle of your content based on the audience. You need to understand your audience, so a one-size fits all strategy isn’t the best choice when it comes to PR.

For example, if you are writing a story for a tech publication, you would focus on the innovative digital technologies used. So, imagine you are writing about new technology that helps with medical diagnostics. The article for the tech publication would zero in on the technology itself. An article in a publication for doctors would focus on efficiency and accuracy in treatment and diagnosis. An article for patients would focus on how it helps patients. 

Thought leadership is what makes a story newsworthy

What makes a story newsworthy? It can be good thought leadership

You cannot be expected to launch a product or get an investment every month, so how do you keep yourself in the news? There’s a trade secret, which is focused on building thought leadership. The goal isn’t to manufacture news, but to add value to what is already being discussed.

The most sustainable way to do this is by studying and analysing industry trends. Identify, explain, and share them with others. This type of content works very well as thought leadership. This ensures that you are able to share information that is relevant and adds value to others.

However, thought leadership isn’t easy. Knowledge is key, as well as experience, in order to build trust that what you are sharing is both relevant and has merit. Therefore, not everyone can be a thought leader but it can help make your story newsworthy.

READ MORE: We share the common mistakes in PR: Are you hurting your publicity?

Relevance matters the most

Oftentimes, relevance to your audience and publication is what makes a story newsworthy. You need to pay attention to how you deliver the content, not just what it is. As you deliver the content, do so in a way that appeals to the community and audience.

This is why we often recommend going the “local” angle. Focus on how the story affects your local community. This always helps readers feel a connection to the story and what makes a story newsworthy. This strategy 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 is 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; their journey will interest locals. That example is actually a combination of taking the local angle and crafting a human-interest piece. 

Data and stats make good stories

What makes a story newsworthy - data and stats
Data and stats are what makes a story newsworthy

Another popular angle is to create data-driven stories. If there are facts and figures in your story, focus on those. This gives readers a measurable impact. It also reduces the potential for biases, which readers will want to avoid. Simply including figures adds credibility to your story.

If you can include proprietary data, that is even better, as other content journalists may decide to cite your content to share those figures. Including data also lets you include charts and graphs. Those are highly shareable, break up the text to make it more readable, and help people skimming the article, which is how most people absorb content right now. Including graphics even helps engage both sides of the brain, cementing the information in the brain of the reader. 

So, what makes a story newsworthy?

Knowing what makes a story newsworthy isn’t easy, but we hope our article helps you identify some issues that you feel would be useful to

If you want to know more about public relations and creating stories people want to read, speak to us at [email protected] today. 

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