How to know if your news is actually newsworthy

October 11, 2017 / by Lucas Wiseman

iStock-483756214.jpgThis scenario happens all the time - your company has what you think is big news to announce so you draft a press release, send it to the media and nobody covers it.

It’s beyond frustrating when this happens but the question you should ask yourself is why didn’t the media care? It’s probably because while you thought it was newsworthy it really wasn’t to the media.

So how do you avoid this disappointment in the future? Here are a couple tips:

Understand the value of your news

Not all news is created equally. A press release announcing the hire of a mid-level staffer is always going to generate less coverage than, for example, announcing a new round of venture capital. However, that doesn’t mean that both aren’t newsworthy in some regard.

It’s important to understand the value of your news and what audience you are trying to reach. There’s nothing wrong with writing a press release about that new staffer - it will likely be of interest to your current customers. Just don’t expect the local TV station to come out and do an interview.

Having realistic expectations about what’s going to get covered and what isn’t is the key. Spend some time looking at what stories the media is covering to help you have an idea if your story will get picked up or not.

Find a newsworthy angle

When you write a press release, ask yourself if someone outside your company will care about this subject matter. If the answer is no, consider ways to make them care.

Sometimes the best way to garner interest, especially in local markets, is to find a third party to help you tell your story. If a client you have worked with has seen big gains from the work you’ve done for them and you have the data to back it up, use them as a testimonial to help tell your story.

You should also focus on providing editorial context around the story you are trying to tell. We talked more about that in this recent blog.

It can be tough to get your news covered by the media, so take a minute to put yourself in the reporter’s shoes. Will they find something new or newsworthy in your press release worth relaying to their readers? Taking a minute to think about that and adjust your strategy can yield results.

Occasionally, your voice will be relevant to a story that you aren't pitching. To know when and how to take advantage of your opportunity, download our guide to Newsjacking. 

Download our PR Newsjacking Guide