Start-ups and entrepreneurs don't always know if they have something that is newsworthy, so they don't bother sending press releases. Although whether a story idea is newsworthy is subjective to the editor and publication's guidelines, there are general rules of thumb that you can use to guide you about whether something is newsworthy or not. Read this article for the rules to consider.
by Louise Harris
Start-ups and entrepreneurs are focused on getting their company off the ground. They have a business plan. They understand they need to do marketing. Business owners might understand the need to get media attention, but they don't know what could be deemed newsworthy. Although the editors ultimately decide what is considered newsworthy, there are some general rules of thumb business owners can follow.
- Events – If you are holding any type of event, you should send a press release. Most editors want to know what is happening in their community. They also have a calendar that must be filled regularly. A big enough event or one sponsored for raising funds for a charity could bring out a news crew to your event. I once got a major television news station to come out and cover a yard sale. Other events might fill holes in print or online or might be able to take the place of a story that ended up going nowhere.
- Change in Leadership – Companies that have hired new employees or promoted employees should send press releases. Editors usually want to know who the movers and shakers in a community are. They like running briefs about changes in company leadership, especially if the company is well-known in the community or is a large advertiser. If you are hiring new employees, you also should send a release. Editors always love to write stories about an increase in jobs. At the same time, if you are laying off employees, they would like to know that too.
- Startups – When you launch a business, you should send a press release. Like the increase in jobs in a community, new businesses are always welcome as story ideas. Journalists see it as a possible new jobs story down the road. Also, sending a release when you start a business, you begin to build a relationship with editors in your community. If your company also was able to obtain initial funding for your startup, that would be of great interest to editors.
- Holiday Connection – If you are doing something in conjunction with a holiday, you will want to let your local media know. For example, a dentist in Oregon buys back 2,000 pounds of Halloween candy every year. He didn't notify his local media until a marketing company suggested he send releases. A television news crew in the region did a story on it and so did a local newspaper. Both saw the newsworthiness of collecting 2,000 pounds of Halloween candy, and giving kids money. In addition, the Oregon dentist sent that candy overseas to military personnel, which added to the life of the story.
- Veterans – Media love to write stories about veterans and locals who support them. If you have a program geared for veterans, you will want to send a press release. Real estate agents might have a special commission just for veterans. Others might have a special night to honor them. One agent held a night to honor veterans and explain different programs for them. Because it was around the anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, the release and event was deemed newsworthy.
If you are unsure whether your idea for a press release is newsworthy, the experts at Faselis Growth and other companies will give your release an evaluation and help you make it newsworthy. You should ask for help if you don't know. That one might not be newsworthy, but something else might be.
These are some of the ways your idea might be newsworthy. I will give you more examples in a second and third article.