What is Newsworthy?

Does your business have an awesome story to tell? Are you launching a new product or sponsorship? Here’s a few industry tips that will help you identify good stories that best attract media attention.

Timeliness – Is the story happening right now? Breaking stories get the worms, kids. If you’re pitching a product launched five months ago that’s been replaced by the latest and greatest–your story isn’t news anymore. If you’ve just launched a life-saving vaccine, that’s timely.

Proximity – Is your news relevant to the community or region? Will it impact community members? If you’re a manufacturer of sneakers in China, would you really send a news release to Wisconsin press? If you’re announcing a product line, no, but if you’re moving manufacturing headquarters there, that’s proximity.

Special or rare – Is your news unique or unusual? A dog riding on a bike with his human is not news. It’s cute and all, but not newsworthy. If that dog is the one doing the peddling, that’s some really special news.

Dramatic – Is your news dramatic or conflicting? Does it drive chatter? Will it be talked about for months? These types of stories can stay in the news cycle indefinitely. 

Impact/Consequential – Do people need to know this information? Will it change their lives? For example, if you’re launching new light-bulbs that cut $30 off homeowners’ monthly electricity bills, that’s news. If you’re only changing bulb packaging, that’s not news–unless packaging is made of U.S. bills. 

It’s important to know that very few stories are going to have all these attributes, but a “newsworthy” story has at least two, preferably three. Please share your thoughts on what makes a newsworthy piece below!

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