News and newsworthy news

News and newsworthy news

by | Apr 20, 2022

News is topical and timely. It’s not always picked up and published by editors – regardless of this – although it’s worth trying to write your press release with this in mind, to give yourself the best chance of success.

At the very least, your news is content for your blog/news section of your website and across social media but the true value of editorial is when it’s published in the press, or the publication you’ve targetted. Your story will be seen by your target audience/s – both online and in print perhaps – making it valuable media.

Is your news newsworthy?

In the first instance, we ask: does anyone care? Is your story interesting to you but no-one else? Are journalists going to find it interesting? is the target audience and demographic going to engage?

If so, then ask: is it timely? Your news is only news if it’s timely. And topical. And received within deadline.

Deadline

Are you aware of the weekly deadline for print? Is there a hard date to hit for your story to be included? Make sure you meet it.

Is it embargoed until a certain date? Make sure this is added in CAPITALS to the release AND the subject.

Pitching your story

Collate a wishlist of publications you’d like to publish your piece: be it local press, regional media or a global campaign in a certain sector. Then tailor your pitch (via email? Or can you deliver something fancier to make a PR impression?) to that medium. If you’re writing and issuing a forward feature, ensure that you create a bespoke piece and share only with that publication.

NB Don’t add large files to an email. Send as text. Attach a document too, if you wish, but make sure you’re not adding in barriers for the editor/journalist to get to it. Do you chase the story? Ring the journalist to make sure they have received it? Up to you.

Prepare for coverage

Add in some hooks to your pitch so you give yourself the chance to know if it will be published or not. Often, you have no idea if it’s going to be published until it is. Add a Google alert with key words to give you a chance of finding out.

Jon Griffin, Editor of BusinessWorks Magazine Worcestershire & the Black Country and Hull & East Yorkshire says:

“There have been many definitions of news, and one of the most often quoted is former Fleet Street press baron Lord Northcliffe who once said: ‘News is what somebody wants to suppress, all the rest is advertising.’ There’s a great deal of truth in his Lordship’s words but there’s also rather more to it than just that rather brutal definition.  I would also add one of my favourite phrases ‘news is people’ and that is the essence of what we do at Business Works, reporting people’s ambitions, dreams, disappointments and back-stories. I also think the best news stories are the ones that get people talking in pubs or other public places, the stuff that people remember and go on to tell their friends. I am not talking about the current trend for the dreaded clickbait favoured by some of today’s media- which is actually a sort of puerile anti-journalism – but rather tried and tested accurate reporting and quality writing, which will grab the reader and stand the test of time. It’s a simple truth really which often gets lost in the Internet age.”

Pershore Times’ Editor, Alan Hughes, suggests:

“The subject must be interesting. It’s got to be well written. Of course, the article can be edited, but it’s best if it comes across 100% correct. If not, the editor must be interested enough to put time into amending the piece. If it’s newsworthy, we will rewrite I but it must be interesting and there must have a desire to read it!

There must be a professional approach to writing the article, if you want to get it into the newspaper, so think carefully before you submit it. I’m looking for a well-written, well-constructed submission.

If it’s good enough for you – and you find it interesting and beneficial – then it’ll be alright!

Editor’s note: All of the contributors at the Pershore Times are absolute pros, and I never have to change a single word.”

Remember though, your story might be well-written, expertly pitched and within deadline but overshadowed or unpublished due to a larger, arguably more interesting, timely piece of news.

Writing a press release

Here are a few tips for a standard press release:

LOGO: Client’s logo.

CONTACT: Your contact details in case the journalist or editor needs further information or clarification.

DATE: Timely news is a defining characteristic of news. We turned this around in 2 hours.

HEADLINE OR TITLE: Make it punchy, to provoke curiosity, but not too cringe. Use catchy words – but not like click bait – that draw the reader in.

IMAGE: Add a link to a high res image (or images, make sure they’re captioned and also accompanied by secondary images if necessary) and submit with a low res image so that it doesn’t get stuck in SPAM.

STANDFIRST OR THE DECK/SUBHEADER: Add more details about the story, using key words for SEO.

INFO: Write the basis of your new here. Add in detail but stay on point.

FURTHER INFO TO ADD TO THE STORY: More information about the subject.

QUOTE: Add in a quote from the main party.

EXTRA QUOTE TO ADD VALUE TO THE CLIENT: If you have a further quote relating to the story, add it here.

FURTHER QUOTE AND HOOK BACK TO CLIENT: Add in your final quote and link back to the client.

FINAL NOTE/CONCLUSION: For more information about XXX go to WEBSITE or call the team on NUMBER.

BOILERPLATE

ENDS

EDITORS OR FINAL NOTES. ###

Give the team a shout of you’d like us to help you with your press release: contact us.

As seen in Business Works West Midlands Magazine.

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