22 Jan Hot or Not – Is Your Press Release Newsworthy?
How to determine whether your piece of news provides enough “news value”.
Press releases are still relevant in today’s digital world and considered to be a quick and low-cost marketing tool – if they are published. To make sure that your news will get the journalists’ attention, there are some key points to bear in mind.
First of all, don’t forget that also the journalist wants his or her articles to be read. Therefore, he or she only picks stories that show potential. One of the most important reasons for a journalist to pick your press release is a newsworthy story. But what does newsworthy actually mean?
Topics matter – trends and timeliness, too! (Topics, targets, timeliness)
The following questions will help you to decide whether a story is newsworthy:
- Is your story relevant to people outside your company? Will people care about your news? Noteworthy topics can be announcements of:
- new products and innovations (also the release of a new version of your product)
- new service offerings
- the expansion of your business (e.g. opening of a new office/branch or an unforeseen growth of your business, important sales wins)
- new acquisitions and partnerships
- new employees (only on management level)
- a company event or a trade show in which you will participate
- an award that your company has received
- a charity project your company is involved in
- Does your story interest a large target group?
The wider your audience, the more likely a journalist will share it with his/her readers. If you for example issue a press release that is relevant for a specific industry, make sure you send it to editors that cover this industry. If you want to let the world know that your company is growing in a certain area or region, include local newspapers, as they are more likely to report on what is going on in their region than a magazine with a broader focus. Also, a text will be read by more people if it tells a story, for example, if you issue a press release about a sales win, include a story about what your new customer will do with your product or, maybe has already gained by using your product. Provide personal insights – for example, if you announce that a management position has been filled with somebody new, include a quote from the new manager in which you let him talk about his plans for the company. And include press pictures.
- Is your press release timely?
- Make sure that your news is not outdated and still relevant. It should be related to something that has taken place recently or announcing something that will happen in the near future. In some cases, a seasonal approach can make sense.
- Does your news correspond to current trends?
If you can offer a story that fits current trends, the chances to get coverage are rising tremendously.
You tell a story, and a story is told for humans
Even if your company primarily offers technical solutions, bear in mind that you are writing for human readers. If it fits the topic of your news, you can add a human angle to your story to make it even more interesting to read. In a technical press release, such a human angle can be a quote by someone expressing his excitement about a detail of your story.
Spreading the news
If you have checked the newsworthiness of your press release (with the help of the questions above), and you have decided that it has enough potential to be published: Go ahead and write your story. If possible, try to create a continuous (relevant) news stream from your company. But, if you are in doubt, don’t write it.
Sending out too many press releases without any news value might damage your company’s reputation or simply put the journalists off. Better wait until you have something truly interesting to report. And that moment is sure to come.