Some people assume everything they do, say or are involved in might be newsworthy. Others don’t put enough stock in their own potential newsworthiness.
Newsrooms receive LOTS of press releases daily. What you may be surprised to learn is more than half of those releases are discarded because they have no real news value. Here are some tips to help you decide if your story is worthy of coverage:
1) Does your story have impact? Some people are very narrow-minded and only think of promoting their businesses, books or an event to the media, but personal stories tend to have far more appeal. If you are a breast cancer survivor, October would be an excellent time to share your story of triumph. Or maybe you rally your town to collect Valentine’s Day gifts for the parents of the children who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. If you’re an author, you could sent an autographed copy of your book to the Sandy Hook parents.
2) Does your story make a difference? These are known as “feel good” stories in a newsroom. Maybe you’re participating in a unique charity event or single-handedly taking on a major project that will benefit a family in need or non profit organization.
3) Is your story controversial? In my latest book, How to Get on the News Without Committing Murder, I dedicate a chapter to controversy. Whether you like it or not, controversy sells. Journalists look for it. They thrive on it because they know it gains readers, viewers and listeners. (excerpt from the book).
Marketing expert and professional speaker George Torok writes, “You can use controversy to sell your product, business or yourself. Controversy can be a powerful branding technique.” You have to decide if you are willing to take a strong position against the majority and then go for it.
4) Where’s the location? If you live in Raleigh, NC, chances are a reporter in Florida isn’t going to be interested in your story unless it has some direct tie to the the Sunshine State or has national potential.
5) What’s your claim to fame? Did you go to school with a famous celebrity and are planning to reunite with them while they’re in your area? Did you receive a celebrity endorsement for your book or product? Maybe you tried out for one of the reality shows and are willing to share your experience—the good, bad and ugly.
Once you’ve figured out what your news value is, then start building your media plan for your time to shine!