Just What Is News?


Your announcement is so earth-shattering it deserves prominent coverage in every major news outlet, right?

Not necessarily.

Journalists and the organizations they cover usually have vastly contrasting definitions of “news.”

If you know how reporters define news, your chances of coverage increase.

Here are elements a newsworthy story contains. Your announcement won’t contain all of them, but they should contain the basics:

  • It is NEW: A new product, service, medical treatment, CEO, or business acquisition.
  • It is RELEVANT to the news audience you are targeting.
  • It is of BROAD INTEREST. The Japanese tsunami. Stock-market plunges.

Newsworthy stories also:

  • Contain CONFLICT. Mostly, you wish to avoid this, but not always: Goldman Sachs employee resigns via the NY Times.
  • Are quirky. Bear bites woman’s butt.
  • Involve celebrities.
  • Are inspiring: Shooting victim Gabby Giffords.
  • Involve scandal. That’s one news value you hope doesn’t define your story!
  • Are dramatic: Hero on the Hudson airline pilot.

Follow these tips to get coverage and be taken seriously the next time you have an announcement for the media.

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