Becoming an Editor's Best Friend: Writing Something Newsworthy
September 07, 2014
As part of our job here at 24-7 Press Release, it is our goal to distribute your story. Apart from it reaching the vast amount of sites, search engines, and general readers, a lot are editors from major news outlets. It is their job to sift through stories to see what's newsworthy and publishable. If you are lucky they will publish your story or contact you directly for an interview and create a unique piece.
As you can imagine, editors are no doubt inundated with thousands upon thousands of press releases a day with little time to thoroughly read all of them. So, what can you do to separate your story from the rest? Or at least ensure you've done all you can for them to keep reading? Off the bat editors look for press releases that are actually newsworthy and well-written. While that may seem obvious, it's easier said than done. There's a certain skill to writing a press release and adhere from it sounding like spam or an advertisement. It can't be helped - we write press releases not only to get our news out there but also to attract potential buyers, clients, and consumers. That is ultimately the goal, but we have to get past the editors first. Considering it is their job to watch out for that and to strictly report news, we want to make sure you have all the tools to do just that.
There are five factors to keep in mind to make a story newsworthy:
- Timing - this is self-explanatory. Try to make your press release topic as current as possible or even in anticipation of something for readers to watch out for. Be mindful of the release date as well to be on or around the relevant event date if you are talking about and event.
- Significance - the number of people this affects or relates to. There are a lot of industries out there, and we cater to a lot of niche markets that you specify and we categorize, but it doesn't hurt to keep in mind that the general audience or an editor not well-versed in your field won't take interest if there is some way you could extend the significance to a wider audience. This might even just be a task of wording your press release to appeal to a wider scope of readers. A lot of businesses get clients from various industries they would not have otherwise thought of and making your press release have significance to a large audience could be very beneficial to you.
- Proximity - stories that are closer to us peak our interest more. Naturally, this applies geographically; but proximity could also mean something that happens near to "us" as a person would have more significance. Thus, this could be in terms of a bond or similarity such as religion, race, occupation, etc. This is an extension of #2 in that as long as there is some significance and/or relatability to the reader, it will catch their attention.
- Prominence - famous people and popular things are considered more newsworthy. Regular press releases and keeping your company relevant and "in the limelight" can help establish you being in the forefront of your field.
- Human Interest - this is the one exception in relation to the other factors. A story of human interest evokes more emotion and can be somewhat personal or subjective. These types of newsworthy stories may be considered a bit miscellaneous and can take the form of being "offbeat" yet interesting; or wanting to bring out a certain emotion to a reader, such as a feel-good emotion or sadness. Unlike the other factors mentioned these stories don't focus on date or being current, nor affect a large amount of people or place yet still catches the reader's interest.
In your next release, it would be helpful to keep these factors in mind because it's important to remember that many of your readers are skilled editors in major news outlets and it only takes one great release to get their attention and favour your release among the thousands of others.