Put the ‘news’ into newsworthy for campaign success

Worried about your content; or not getting the engagement you’re looking for? Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics and decide what’s actually newsworthy, rather than churn out bland creative that’s missing the mark, writes Claire Allen, PR Account Manager at WSA.

All too often, companies plan PR or social campaigns without truly considering the best way to tell their story, or who to tell it to. Building a newsy campaign requires strategy and focused delivery. And that’s where an expert can pay dividends to ensure what you say, plus how and when you say it, is focused, timely and most of all makes an impact on your bottom line or KPI.

The way we consume our news has changed, so it stands to reason that the way we treat news stories moves with the times too. What makes some stories grab the print or online news headlines, or sit better as a tweet, blog or IG post? It can be a bit of a conundrum if you don’t have a natural eye for a story. Curious to know what makes a good story? Let’s talk about newsworthiness…

People are impatient

With waning attention spans and time-poor lifestyles, many tend to absorb their daily news fix in short bursts via a phone app or online feed. So it stands to reason that your delivery needs to be punchy, interesting and above all, relevant.

Hone your copywriting skills

Slick, punchy copy will deliver your message efficiently. Too waffly, and your readers will switch off; too salesy and the media will see right through your intentions. A well-crafted story will elevate your message and stick in the reader’s mind and is much more likely to push the call to action button. And don’t forget to proof read – sloppy mistakes can cost you coverage.

It’s all in the presentation

Think about the method and channels that you communicate your news through. Not everything is worthy of a press release; these should be held back for occasions when you are announcing, launching or providing new information – such as a survey or report findings. Journalists will only want to follow up on things that provide new information and are backed up with valid claims or statistics.

An opinion piece might sit better as a blog or feature. Often, media are looking for contributors to a particular topic and are keen to get an expert view for a longer article which educates or encourages debate with their audience.

Quick reactions or topicality might work better as a social media post or tweet – and can be visually presented as a picture, video or infographic as well, instead of pure copy. If you have a great spokesperson, or very visual offering, you might want to think about broadcast or video too.

Follow our tips and you could be one step closer to maximising your media coverage potential.

Joe Cuffaro
Joe Cuffaro

Joe Cuffaro joined WSA Communications in 2014 as an Account Executive and has progressed to Head of PR & Marketing. Joe has a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a PR & Communications Digital Diploma from the PRCA. He has helped clients achieve regional, sector and national coverage in a wide variety of media; including news stories on all major BBC channels (TV, Radio and Online) and providing scripts for adverts broadcast on the likes of talkSPORT. Joe has written multiple successful award-entries and continues to assist clients with content for news, advertisements, recruitment, marketing collateral and more. Despite the warnings, his dream holiday destination remains either Jurassic Park or Itchy & Scratchy Land.

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