In our age of 24/7 rolling news and a highly competitive environment for column inches and airtime, making the news isn’t easy. But you can increase your chances of success by following some basic first principles.
We’ve listed our five top tips for making your story newsworthy below.
1. Find the newsline
‘Company X announces new product/employees/director’ is not news. You need to think creatively to find a newsline that journalists will respond to – they are not in the business of giving free advertising. So it might be ‘Scottish business confidence falls 10% in the quarter, a survey by Company X has found’ or ‘Scotland will fail to reach its renewables targets without planning reform, according to Company Y’. Of course, the story will be stronger if you have research or statistics to back up your claims.
2. Fit in with the news agenda
Often, a particular story or issue will grab the news agenda and hold onto it for weeks, months or even years. We’ve seen it recently with the recession. Any story with a jobs or economy angle is likely to get pickup, simply because it fits with the tenor of much of the news. Sometimes the window of opportunity will be shorter and may focus around particular events, such as a royal wedding or a major political or sporting event.
3. Sum up the story in the intro – who, where, what, when, why, how
Journalists write their stories in a particular way and when putting your story in front of them you need to do the same. The essence of the story should be able to be summed up in a catchy introductory paragraph, preferably of less than 30 words. You need to include all the relevant information to respond to the key questions ‘who, where, what, when, why, how’. If you don’t get this across in the first paragraph or two, the journalist will lose interest.
4. Make it personal
Make sure to add colour to your news story by including real people – case studies of people who have benefited from your product or service, for example. Quotes from real people should always clearly state the person’s job title or role so that their relevance to the story is unambiguous.
5. Target your audience
You need to pitch your story appropriately. This needs to take account of two things – your ‘end audience’, i.e. readers/viewers/listeners, but also the filter, i.e. (for the most part) journalists. You need to get under the skin of your targets – what are their core concerns? What are they worried about? How will your news help them? Media coverage is not an end in itself – it’s a means for communicating an important message from you to your stakeholders.
The Orbit team have years of experience of generating fantastic media coverage for our clients that adds to their overall business objectives. We can do the same for you – why not give us a call on 0131 257 4232 or email email@example.com.