When starting out, every journalist learns what qualifies as news.
You should consider these same elements of newsworthiness when sharing company news with your audience.
Before writing a press release, news piece for your website or sending an email update, ask yourself if the information has any of the following newsworthy attributes.
- Timeliness: The most important part of the word “news” is “new.” The reported information should be recent or happening now.
- Impact: Your information should impact your audience – the more audience members impacted the better.
- Proximity: The closer to your readers that something happens, the more newsworthy it is. For example, if you’re opening a store in New England, send an email to your New England subscribers. Your West Coast subscribers probably won’t care.
- Prominence: Testimonials are great, but they’re not news. At least, it shouldn’t be news that someone uses your product or service. If that someone is a celebrity, though, that’s newsworthy. Signing a deal with a popular brand (or popular to your audience) is also newsworthy.
- Conflict: Unfortunately, bad news is more newsworthy than everything going great. This one’s tricky to relate to business content, but in some cases it builds trust with your audience to point out where you screwed up and how you fixed or plan to fix it.
- Unusual: Sorry, your successful business running smoothly as usual isn’t news worthy of an article. But … did you break an industry or personal-best record? Share it!
- Currency: Did you announce something in the past that’s changing now? That’s news. For example, if you announced a new software feature and you’ve created a stellar update, tell your users about it.
That’s what makes a story newsworthy.
One trick of the news-industry trade is never use the words “still” or “continues” in your headline. If you find yourself writing, “Business X Continues to Please Customers,” scrap that piece; it’s not news.
Do you have any thoughts on newsworthiness? Share in the comments!
Thanks, and have a great rest of your week!