How to Identify a Newsworthy Story
You’re interested in sharing your story, but you’re not sure if it’s newsworthy. First, let’s talk about why storytelling is important. Storytelling is a way to share information that creates an emotional connection with people. There are multiple ways you can share this information with your audiences, through earned, shared, and owned audiences. Today, we’re going to discuss the earned channel. Earned media is any kind of outside attention that you “earn” but don’t directly pay for. We will also dive into the aspects of a story that make it worth sharing through this communication channel. Read on to learn more about identifying a newsworthy story.
Why does it matter that your story is newsworthy?
When trying to decipher whether your story is newsworthy or not, ask yourself this question: Does this matter to my audience, and why? The story you’re trying to tell needs to resonate with your audience. But, this isn’t the only factor that you need to consider. Not only does your story need to matter to your audience, but it needs to matter to the media as well.
How to identify newsworthy storytelling opportunities
- When you are trying to tell a story the angle matters. The angle can make or break the strength of your story. Different angles can appeal to different audiences and media outlets, so deciding what direction you go in can help you identify a newsworthy story.
- Once you’ve identified your angle, you need to research which news outlet is the right fit for your potential story. Things to consider:
- Which outlet serves the audience you’d like to reach?
- What is your ideal reach? Make sure the size of the outlet aligns with this.
- What types of stories does the outlet/reporter usually cover?
- Your next step is to make sure the timing is right. Timing is one of the biggest factors of a story being newsworthy or not. Identify if your story is time sensitive or if it is evergreen(timeless). You also want to consider the state of current events, if there is something going on in the world that will consume the headlines, this may affect your chances of landing a story.
- If you’ve gone through steps, and you don’t think your story is newsworthy, that’s ok! There is still opportunity for you to use owned and shared channels (rather than earned) to communicate your story.
Three tips for successfully pitching your story
- When you are reaching out to a media outlet/reporter, you want to keep your pitch clear and concise. If you’re speaking with them on the phone, try your best not to be long winded. Speak with confidence and get your point across in an efficient way. **BONUS: If you’re pitching by phone, ask if they have a moment and wait for confirmation before you jump into your pitch. Common courtesy goes a long way.
- Do your homework. Before reaching out to a media outlet/reporter, make sure you have some background information that can help you make a personal connection. Understanding who you’re pitching is key.
- You don’t want to upset the media. Be respectful of their time and their workload. If you want to pitch a story, be prepared to deliver. If there are interviews or photoshoots scheduled, be punctual. You want to build a relationship based on mutual respect.
Identifying whether your story is newsworthy is an essential part of the media relations process. Being strategic when trying to place a story in the media will help you convey a clear and powerful message.
At Siren, we guide you through a strategic process for your communication efforts. Strategy is critical to building momentum for your brand, successfully reaching your most important audiences, determining what of your content is newsworthy, and trying it all together so the sum is stronger than the parts. Contact us to learn about working together.Work with Siren