Many companies lose perspective when deciding what is newsworthy and what is not. While your president or CEO may feel that certain information is newsworthy, it may not be to those outside the company. Businesses must learn recognize what is newsworthy to others and what is only news to that particular business.
Here are a few items journalists consider to NOT be newsworthy.
1. News or information that has already been announced or reported. If information has already been reported, the information is old and may no longer be relevant.
2. The updates or activities of smaller private companies. A smaller company does not have a large amount of influence or recognition in the national business market or media market. However, a small start-up company may be able to increase its newsworthy contributions through emphasizing the company’s activities as part of a new national or global trend or as a threat to a larger company.
3. While something may be an important issue, it does not mean it is newsworthy. An interesting trend may be present now, but unless the trend develops into a major issue, it may not be considered newsworthy.
4. A visit from a CEO from abroad. Unless the company has a major interest in the U.S. or a large amount of influence in the U.S. this is not newsworthy. However, this topic becomes newsworthy if the CEO announces plans that will affect businesses or the economy in the U.S., such as a partnership or building a plant in the U.S.
So what is newsworthy and what is not?
5. Conflict is always newsworthy, especially when it is new and continuing to develop. Peace and harmony generally are not, unless it the timing is directly after conflict is resolved.
6. Scandal is newsworthy, especially when dealing with well-known people or businesses. Good behavior, on the other hand, is usually not newsworthy unless there are major dollars involved in a philanthropic effort that affects a large audience.
7. Surprises or unexpected outcomes are newsworthy, expected or planned outcomes are not. A company that greatly surpasses or misses its earning projections is of greater interest to journalists than a company that meets its projections.
8. Catching well-known or influential people in lies is newsworthy.
9. Announcements that have a large local impact are newsworthy (to local media outlets). However, the idea of local is beginning to narrow. Local media outlets may consider local news as only coming from or affecting their specific town.
Deciding what is newsworthy and what is not is a great challenge to any business. Objectivity is a key factor in understanding what a journalist will find interesting and worth writing about. Companies are not always capable of this objectivity, which is where a public relations firm can be extremely helpful. PR professionals are experienced in uncovering newsworthy angles for your business activities and developing strategies and methods for pitching them to media.