What Makes a Story Newsworthy? Pick Up the Most Newsworthy Topic for Your Press Release

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What Makes a Story Newsworthy-

What makes a story newsworthy? Let’s find newsworthy topics to write about in your press release.

Before you start writing your press release, first you need to think about the news hook which can be any PR cause or just an informative message. Choose an appropriate topic that can be engaging and attention-getting for both editors and your target audience.

Taking into account that press releases can increase your company’s visibility and have a certain impact on your search engine rankings, the necessity to make your press release published is out of the question. Whatever business industry you are working in, it’s important to deliver original, effective, and up-to-date content relating to your company. Sometimes it can be a challenge to come up quickly with great ideas. But if your company is running, you definitely have some news to share.

How to Write Press Release – Guidelines, Formats, Free Samples
newsworthy topics to write about

Newsworthy Topic Ideas for Your Press Release

You just need to choose a suitable subject and generate the news yourself. So if you are stuck on what to write for your next press release – you may find the most newsworthy ideas to grab editors’ attention below:

Company News:

  • Grand opening;
  • Launch of a new website;
  • Announcing a media appearance;
  • Milestone accomplishments;
  • Company anniversary;
  • Expanding or renovating the organization;
  • Business rebranding, etc.

Company information:

  • Completion of a project;
  • Marketing trends affecting your business;
  • Restructuring your business or its business model;
  • New market studies, research and surveys;
  • Forming a new strategic partnership;
  • Financial and earnings updates;
  • Inspirational stories related to your business, etc.

Marketing results:

  • Promotions of new products and services;
  • Seasonal discounts (Thanksgiving; Black Friday; Christmas, etc.);
  • Free giveaways;
  • Social media contest;
  • New uses for existing products;
  • Free consultations, trial offers and samples;
  • New promotional programs like referral rewards, etc.

Media:

  • Upcoming TV or radio interview;
  • Media and speaker appearances by executives;
  • Upcoming presentation or speaking engagement;
  • Being quoted in a book or article;
  • Workshop you are presenting;
  • Expert opinion on an important subject within your business;
  • New book, video or online course, etc.

Community life newsworthy topics to write about:

  • Involvement with a charity;
  • Participation in local events and fairs;
  • Green initiative;
  • Open days or community exhibits;
  • Honor an institution;
  • Team sponsorships;
  • Employees participating in a group or serving on a board or committee.

Of course, there’s always room for more ideas, we just gave you the basic topics which can inspire you to write new press releases and make them noticed and covered by picky journalists. The most important thing is to write a well-composed press release and almost any event can be turned into news. Following some useful tips, you will absolutely succeed.

Read more: The Most Overused Words in Writing 

What Makes a Story Newsworthy?

Based on the Merriam-Webster definition, newsworthy means “interesting enough to the general public to warrant reporting”. Generally, it depends on the following elements: 

  • Proximity (location)
  • Prominence (well-known person, place, or event)
  • Timeliness 
  • Impact
  • Conflict
  • Novelty. 

In the real world, however, what constitutes newsworthy reporting may also be determined by the company’s styles and emphasis, the specialty of journalists, the ratings and popularity of specific topics, and so on. 

My favorite definition comes from Lord Northcliffe who said the news is what someone, somewhere wants to suppress. All the rest is advertising.

Clearly, not everything that gets featured in print, online, or broadcast channels fits that criteria.

Newsworthiness is determined by the media that surveys what is going on in its sphere of interest. So, what is newsworthy to the Guardian is not necessarily treated the same as the Daily Mail. However, human disaster in all its guises tends to make news across all media. The way it’s treated will differ depending on what each individual outlet believes its readers want.

How Do Journalists Define “Newsworthy”? 

The answer is, “it depends.”

At a small paper in rural Ohio, a fatal traffic accident or a house fire in circulation was a big 1A story. At a mid-sized metro paper in a larger market, a similar traffic accident or house fire might be brief on Page 3B, maybe a short short story on Page 3B. The difference is the relative markets—if your audience lives in a community dealing with issues like an annual homicide rate like any other city, smaller human tragedies are not as significant.

Also playing into the newsworthiness decision is a novelty. Does the mayor make a new policy pronouncement? More significant than the eighth time the mayor complains about the appropriations process at the Statehouse and how it hurts local residents.

What makes a story newsworthy? Ask yourself two (not so) simple questions:

  • Does it matter to a significantly large proportion of our audience? 
  • Is it in the public interest?

* Audiences vary. The things that matter to the arts community are quite different to the things that matter to the tech community.

** Public interest is defined differently by different editors. Some see private sexual matters, for example, as completely irrelevant to the public interest. Others see them as key moral questions.

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Alexander Storozhuk

Founder & Board Member at PRNEWS.IO, content marketing platform helping brands be mentioned in online media. Official Member at Forbes Business Council

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