1st November 2022

When does my content become ‘PRable’?

Sam Brunt

Businesses are consistently told to create blog content in order to increase their digital visibility. High-quality blog posts, especially topical company and industry news, have a dual purpose of highlighting a business’s authority, knowledge and value to customers, as well as improving their website’s SEO. Whilst this is a great way to drive traffic to your website through organic search, what if you want your content to be newsworthy enough to get people talking about your brand and sharing your content proactively? This is where PR comes in. 

 

Crafting content specifically designed to be consumed by the media allows your content to be distributed and your brand to be seen to a hyper targeted audience that may not be necessarily searching for your business or services. To do that, however, you need to be able to recognise the kind of content that is of interest to journalists and their respective audiences - in other words, what makes a story newsworthy?  

 

Newsworthiness

Newsworthiness is what journalists look for in a story. When PR professionals and journalists talk about what is newsworthy, they rely on five engagement values that determine whether an audience will be interested in a piece of news. They are: 

Timeliness 

Immediate, emerging information and events are deemed newsworthy because of their freshness. When a trend or event has just happened it is at the height of its newsworthiness. We see this in practice with long-running news stories fading in the public consciousness as time passes.  

Proximity

Local information and events are newsworthy because they affect the people in our community and region - we naturally care more about things that happen close to us to which we can relate. The further away the story occurs the bigger it has to be to make an impact. This means that when pitching to the media to gain national coverage, the story needs to have the other values strongly present in the piece. 

 

Conflict and Controversey

It is human nature to be interested in conflict and controversy; whether that is rooted in social and economical disruption, controversial behaviour from public figures or companies, exciting, new, or even absurd ideas, and changes to policies that affect the general public. It attracts attention by highlighting problems or differences within a given community. Due to this elevated interest the media are very receptive to these kinds of stories. From a PR standpoint, however, this is a difficult path to tread as it can lead to large amounts of coverage for a company who wishes to be disruptive in the market which can also often lead to negative stories about a business. 

 

Human Interest

Human interest can be a great way to generate coverage as people are inherently interested in other people, especially when they can identify with them. Highlighting the human element or story within a piece of content can elevate its interest within the media. 

 

Relevance

People are attracted to information that helps them make good decisions. Thought leadership that gives people information that can help them to improve their life or business is a great way to generate interest. For example, you are reading this article to learn more about PR.

 

What does this mean for my content?

The reality is that our headlines are unlikely to have all five of the parameters featuring strongly. When coming up with ideas it is good to think of two or three of the five to use as the basis for the content. How the content is newsworthy will also help to shape what kind of content you will produce to bring the idea to life. For most of the PR content we are creating, this will split into three main areas. 

 

Press Releases

Press releases will tackle news only - this means announcements, statistics from internal research, partnerships and new campaigns. This kind of content is more likely to have proximity and timeliness as their main parameters of newsworthiness. Ideally, press releases tackle one titbit of information such as one statistic, and the announcement of a campaign and should try to be as concise as possible. It is about keeping the information lean and focusing on the key piece of information. 

 

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership pieces will tackle anything that benefits from an expert opinion or analysis. This is for ideas that use the interpretation of outside research, comments on an industry, tips and expertise. This kind of content is more likely to fall under human interest and relevance in terms of newsworthiness. You are positioning yourself as an authority within your industry and so speaking from a place of knowledge is key here. 

 

Case Studies

Case studies speak for themselves; they are the PR version of a testimonial. This kind of content will promote relevance and highlights your skills to prospective clients who are looking for similar services.  

 

Again, you will notice that conflict is not a newsworthiness value that features on here, this is because it represents a much bigger risk to a business. So it is one to avoid unless you are specifically enacting a disruptive approach 

 

Newsjacking 

Newsjacking is when you take advantage of another news story’s momentum in the media to attach your story. It is another great way to generate additional coverage for your business; highlighting the importance of having a good grasp of what is happening across different media outlets.

 

Examples of recent stories that have provided newsjacking opportunities have been TV shows such as Love Island, big sporting events like the Women’s Euro 2022 and celebrity news stories such as the Rebekah Vardy vs. Colleen Rooney saga. 

 

When reading these outlets for a reactive piece of PR, it is a good idea to save them for when you have an idea for an angle, then send it over to journalists to see if they would like to receive a comment on the topic from your expert perspective. 

 

These tips are a brief overview to recognise what content is ‘PRable’ or what kinds of pieces you will be able to amend. However, having seen this tip of the iceberg when it comes to PR content, you will see that there is an immense amount of thought that goes into how this kind of content is created. As a result, it is certainly a good idea for businesses who do not have an in-house PR expert to seek consultation as a minimum, to maximise the benefits they could be seeing from this kind of strategy. 

 

Need help with your PR and outreach? We can help.

 

Get in touch to find out how I-COM can help you raise your brand awareness and public profile through strategic PR and outreach.

 

 

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