What makes a good news story? How can marketing and PR professionals ensure that they are picked up by the press? Why are they so valuable to organisations?
Telling stories is a key part of running a successful business.
When constructed and told correctly, a news story can do so much more than simply communicate information, ideas and important news to core target audiences – it can influence opinions, raise awareness and challenge perceptions! That’s why it’s essential that organisations get it right!
Read on to discover some of our tips and tricks behind developing a newsworthy and successful story.
From offering expertise and insight on industry news and events to announcing business achievements and internal updates – a good business story allows you or your organisation to communicate directly with its target audience and gain publicity in relevant media.
They are essentially a type of promotional material that can bring your business a range of commercial benefits - especially if they’re picked up and covered by the trade press and the right media outlets.
However, not all stories get the coverage they need.
So – what makes a newsworthy story?
People want to read and hear about stories that are interesting.
Advancements in technology have enabled us all to live in a thoroughly digital age, where we are constantly being bombarded with new information and content - and not all of it is relevant.
It’s important to consider this when writing a news story, as it highlights the need for it to be engaging, relevant and able to grab the attention of the desired recipient within just a few seconds.
When writing a news story, always think of the who (your business), the what (the achievement/news), the when (when it happened) and finally - the why (why this news story/product development/achievement is relevant?). This will help construct a clear and concise news story that doesn’t omit any crucial details.
The clue is in the name! News stories are there to tell of the latest developments, product launches and business milestones that haven’t been communicated yet.
It might sound simple, but new award wins, products, services, events, clients, contracts and employees can all form the basis of stories.
Journalists love to hear about something unique and like to be the first people to publish it.
Think “Guinness Book of Records”- journalists want to hear about the biggest, the longest, the oldest etc., so consider about whether your organisation can boast any of these.
For example, is your business the first to achieve a particular award? Has it created or launched a transformative product in its industry? Try and see it from both a journalist’s and reader’s perspective and think about what they would find engaging and interesting.
Often, there are national news stories, events, new laws and pieces of legislation that you can comment on and raise awareness about amongst your target audience.
A good example of this is when Soapworks, the UK’s premier manufacturer of soaps, cleansing bars and solid hair care, launched a brand new soap to celebrate the 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in their home city of Glasgow.
Working alongside Soapworks, we planned and delivered an effective PR and media relations campaign where we secured coverage across national and trade media. The success of this campaign was because of its strong, relevant and timely ties to a global event, which made the story interesting, relatable and attractive to a wide range of media outlets.
Read the full case study here.
If your organisation has been working with any celebrities, big brands or national charities, utilise them to make news stories more appealing.
Journalists like to cover stories that their audience can relate to and empathise with, so heart-warming or unique stories that cover personal achievements, battles and talents are always newsworthy.
Has your organisation, team members or your products or services done something that has benefitted the world in some way – whether that be environmentally or socially?
Journalists love it when businesses give back, so consider any altruistic achievements your business has engaged in and make sure to shout about them.
A successful news story isn’t just about the content of the story - it’s also about how you pitch it.
Securing good coverage depends on sending it to the right outlets, in the right way - so make sure that you have collated a list of relevant contacts, and don’t send anything irrelevant.
Pitching stories is an artform in itself – and getting the right combination of timing, tone, content and format is a fine balancing act. Keep it short, simple and friendly, and be persistent rather than pushy. Like so many things, relationships matter – your goal is to make their life easier by providing a story that their audience wants.
Get it badly wrong (being overly pushy, failing to deliver on time, over promising and under delivering, being too promotional, pitching irrelevant stuff) and you could risk putting off a journalist permanently!
Combining our years of PR experience with our refined copywriting and media relations skills, we help businesses from a wide range of industries secure the coverage they need to succeed.
From identifying newsworthy stories and articulating them through engaging copy, to finding and contacting the relevant outlets and contacts – we support organisations throughout the entire news release process, from pitch to pen.
Find out more by getting in touch with our team today.