What Makes the News?

The most obvious question to get you on your way with working with the media, is what is worthy of being put into a media release?

Firstly, it has to be of interest to the reader. And when I say reader, I am referring to not only your intended prospect but also the editor or journalist to whom you have sent the release. They don’t want to hear garbage or a sales pitch. They want news.

Have a good look at your business. You need to understand exactly what your business does. And what it sells. Then ask yourself whether your customers know what your business does and sells. If your business is like most, the answer will probably be no. Which items are the most profitable? Is there old stock that really should be moved? Are there products or services that only some customers know about and not others? How can you tell them?

The problem that most business owners, and indeed, employees in a certain industry, have, is that their work is so common-place to them, simply because they are there and do it every day, that the interesting things about it escape them. However, somebody not involved in your industry or business may well find the same piece of information terribly interesting.

Alternatively, some business owners have the opposite problem, where they think it is very interesting that they have just painted their office wall a different colour, for example, whereas the general public could not really care less.

So, how do you get past this stumbling block, when you cannot tell what is newsworthy within business or what is not? You need to think like a reader. What would you like to read in your local newspaper or see on the TV about other businesses and industries that you normally would have no association with? You probably will find that you would like to read about something that has relevance to you and your life. Do you care that a new hardware superstore has just opened its doors around the corner from you? Maybe, but new stores open everywhere all the time. However, if the new hardware superstore held workshops especially for women who were keen to get involved in some DIY – now that would be of interest.

Here are some other newsworthy ideas to get you thinking about how they might apply to your own business:

· Have you recently won a customer service, industry or community award?

· Have you or others in your business taken part in a charity event

· Has your business produced something different and unique to what is already on the market?

· Have you made a recent unique discovery about something in your industry?

· Have you added a new Manager to your business – someone with a story to tell (eg, the last three generations of their family were involved in the same industry?)

The ideas mentioned above are more likely to be of interest to your local newspapers, rather than the national news, however, if this is where the majority of your customers are located and accessing the news, then that’s ideal.

News Reporter