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Press releases: What is newsworthy?

As a marketing and public relations agency that writes and distributes press releases on a daily basis, we strive to keep strong connections with news editors. We want them to open our emails, we want them to actually read our emails and of course, we love it when they publish our clients news releases that we send them.

To maintain good relationships with editors, we strive to write and send only news releases we think they and their readers will find newsworthy. Often, we help our clients determine those activities, events and stories that would be considered newsworthy and those editors are unlikely to publish.

One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make is thinking everything they do is newsworthy. Writing and distributing a news release when you switch copier brands, to use an exaggerated example, probably will not do much for your business in terms of seeing a return on the time and money put into writing and distributing the release. And since news releases are strictly informational, there is not much room for excessively fluffy and elaborate creative writing.

We recommend asking yourself the following three questions to determine whether or not your latest business endeavor is worth your time to write and distribute a news release:

1. Would your neighbor think the story was interesting if he/she saw it in the newspaper?

2. Is the story worth the coveted space that media outlets allot to news?

3. If someone saw a teaser link of the story online, would he/she click on it to read the rest of the story?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the questions, think of an angle you could take to make your story more newsworthy. For example, is there an upcoming related event or anniversary on a national level that you could refer to in the news release? Is there another approach you could take?

Ensuring your final release is truly newsworthy and presented in the traditional news release format will afford you a greater chance of your story being picked up by publications.