Chapter 4: Finding and Making News
What Makes News?
- Timeliness: Most important characteristic of news. News must be current. A publicist can make a story angle timely in four ways: 1) Announce something when it happens 2) Providing information or story idea that relate to an event or situation that is already being extensively covered by the news media 3)Relate the organization’s products or services to another event that has national recognition and interest 4) Offering information linked to events and holidays that are already on the public agenda.
- Prominence: News media rarely cover the grand opening of a store or anything else unless there is a prominent person with star power involved. Ex. Beauty queens, actors/actresses, rock stars and professional athletes.
- Proximity: News releases most acceptable to media gatekeepers are those with a local angle. These stories are often referred to as hometowners (custom tailored for an individual’s local newspaper or broadcast station by emphasizing the local angle in the first paragraph of the news release).
- Significance: Any situation or event that can affect a substantial number of people is significant.
- Unusualness: Anything out of ordinary attracts press interest and public attention.
- Human Interest: People like to read about other people. This is why news media focus on the lives of the rich and famous.
- Conflict: When two or more groups advocate different views on a topic of current interest, this creates news.
- Newness: Constantly search for something “new.” Any news release announcing a new product or service has a good chance of being published.
All information in this blog post can be found in Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques 6th Edition