It’s a well-known fact that the media is the driving force behind what is considered news and what isn’t. In some newsrooms there’s a saying, “If it bleeds it leads.” While reporters and producers may thrive on blood and guts kind of stories that always seem to make great leads (according to them), surely, that’s not how most people want to get their time to shine in the media spotlight.
There are, indeed, are plenty of other ways to grab the media’s attention, as shared in this excellent post from my good friend and fellow media expert, Shannon Cherry.
What’s Newsworthy for the News Media
The media defines what is newsworthy for the bulk of society, but who defines what is newsworthy for the news media?
In short, you can! By following a few simple tips and tricks, you can catch the attention of your area’s news organizations and make a reporter’s job easier by providing relevant fodder for their stories.
Let’s take a look at a few ways to catch your journalist’s eye and become the go-to source for great reporting.
1) Be Timely – Having a timely news release will greatly increase the relevancy of your press release. Being timely just means you have information relevant to current media coverage.
If school is just starting and the media is covering the record sale of computers for students, but you see the largest sales period for spiral notebooks; you might have the workings for a great story.
2) Surveys, Polls and Reports – If your intent is to make the reporter’s job easier (and it should be) then proper surveys, polls and reports are a free ticket to coverage. With these types of news releases, it is important to have a good sample of people. These releases are quick and easy to report on and journalists are looking for good news to fill their quota. Why not let it be yours?
3) Trends – Are you following a trend that has not hit the media yet? Have you noticed a certain toy that always sells out as soon as it is re-stocked? Perhaps you have the breaking news story for the next big holiday gift.
Breaking trends are some of the hottest topics for reporters to bring up at their meetings. Catch the trend early and your press release will be on the forefront of every media source.
4) Tips – It is always the small spaces in a box that are always hardest to pack. The same holds true with news sources and their stories. Whether it is a newspaper or a morning show, tips and tricks are usually the best fillers of these times; and people eat them up.
If you know how to feed a family of 20 on $200 a month, then creating a press release will probably get major media attention.
While these ideas are only the beginning, there are plenty other ways to add to the news factor, such as being available for interviews and questions when other people normally are not.
To sum it all up, look for timely events, do good research, look for patterns and sprinkle in some tips for extra credit. The easier you can make the journalist’s job, the more newsworthy your article can become.