If you work in communications, the question ‘what makes your content newsworthy?’ is one you will have asked yourself at least once – and probably more! The answer depends on fluctuating factors such as your target audience and the type of content; however, there are a few simple things to consider when writing and publishing any company content to check whether it is newsworthy:
Timing content releases
When you release a piece of news or new content, it’s important to ensure that the timing is appropriate for the piece.
Wrong timing: Launching news whilst there is a large media buzz on a different topic (think environmental disaster, a Royal wedding or the launch of a new iPhone) will distract people from your work. Make sure to monitor social media and news cycles to prevent this from happening.
Right timing: Providing there is nothing dominating the news cycle, don’t hesitate to release your piece! There’s nothing worse than expending all that time and energy just to prolong the process and have another company sweep in and cover it instead of you.
The newsworthiness of stories is all about getting the perfect timing for your target audience.
Relevance to the audience
Having a good relationship with your audience and knowing what kind of content they want is an important variable in the newsworthiness of a piece. It needs to relate to them whilst also being unique to be truly newsworthy.
Consumers are more likely to want pieces that are close to themselves, both physically (an event occurring nearby is more intriguing than one in another country) and mentally (what impact will your work have on the reader emotionally?) Make your work even more engaging and relevant by making sure there is human interest, people always want to read about other people.
You’re under pressure to get those clicks and interactions, so can you afford for your audience not to care about your content? To get your audience invested, your work needs to be relevant to them. What is considered newsworthy is subjective, so do your research – what interests your audience? What content do they usually consume? It’s important to bring in new target audiences, but if you neglect to engage with your existing base and keep it relevant to them, you’ll find your consumers dropping off!
Consider a shock factor
Not everything needs a shock factor, but there’s a reason why the most successful, newsworthy content usually has one. Consider a surprising headline to draw people in, and back it up with a well-researched and thorough piece – linking back to your headline throughout your content. This might seem like clickbait, but ensure you always have good content behind the headline and people will keep on reading! Perhaps create content that is unusual or bizarre, this alone could increase interest and create something newsworthy.
A shock factor doesn’t have to be something bizarre; it could just be conflict – try reporting on different sides of an issue, representing both arguments fairly. Furthermore, your audience won’t always be in the mood for good news, so don’t shy away if one of these sides presents you with an opportunity to shock people emotionally!
Does your content represent your brand?
So, you have an interesting story that is relevant, impactful and contains the all-important shock factor. You’ve even timed it away from the birth of that celebrity baby and any announcements on COVID-19 restrictions. But before you publish – does the content align with your brand’s values and goals? Writing a newsworthy piece will quickly do more harm than good if it doesn’t. Ensure you stick to your brand’s values to maintain the best relationship with your audience and get them clicking on that all important news piece!
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