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What makes a good news story?

Information, news, articles, features, content, content, content – it’s absolutely everywhere – but is it of value?

Creating stories or delivering your business message isn’t just a formulaic process; it requires planning, focus, creativity and the ability to format it correctly.

Genuine, unique content that is there to inform, educate, or even entertain is what grabs attention not faceless advertising messages with little substance.

So how can you get back in touch with content that is meaningful, interesting, human, and above all worthy enough for Google and a journalist to find interesting?

So how do you develop good quality, well written content?

Invest in well-written and creative content and make it newsworthy by thinking about how it can incorporate the following:

Human interest
Triumph over adversity

You may not associate your business with any of the above but believe me there will be something in your business that can cover some of these topics.

By way of an example only last week I was asked to develop a piece of content concerning a construction company’s new contract.

The contract was important, it marked further growth in the business; but in terms of PR it meant much more than that.

The contract required more staff, this meant more jobs in the locality, and the company had invested in machinery, another great PR angle as the machinery was one of only a handful in the UK.

Follow these 10 top tips to get you started with writing good quality, well written stories.

Is this a big story of national importance, maybe even bigger, possibly worldwide? Think about Brexit!

Whatever the topic it has to be relevant for its audience, you wouldn’t send your charity donation news to a national newspaper but you’d definitely send it to your local newspaper.

Anyone or anything that wields power is of interest to the media. Whether it’s about a powerful person, corporation, or economy, just think about the recent Alton Towers headlines or the royals visit to Canada.

Does it involve a celebrity or someone historically famous? In this celebrity obsessed era you’re sure to catch attention if your story involves someone who is well known. It doesn’t have to be modern day celebrities, just think of the recently discovered Van Gogh during an anti-mafia raid.

It could be something quirky, something that breaks with tradition or makes us laugh. Remember the biscuit shortage news? A serious story made quirky as we learnt of the United Biscuits factory being hit by a Storm.

Bad news
The news is full of bad news; it won’t be difficult to follow an example. Job loses, conflict, disaster, death, misconduct, you name it; the media just loves bad and sad news, however I wouldn’t market on bad news.

Good news
Achievement, success, triumph over adversity, heroism, bravery; from a local charity story to the London student who beat one in a 25 million odds of finding a stem cell donor to fight her blood cancer. Human interest and the feel-good factor is the key.

Hidden talents and myth busting are always good topics for the media. Did you know Steve Jobs created the first ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story? Did you know it doesn’t matter how much Vitamin C you take it won’t prevent you from catching a cold?

Follow up
Everyone likes a follow-up. Just think of the programme Grand Designs; don’t we just love seeing how the houses look after five years? Maybe you have a ‘latest development’ story, or ‘where we are now’ piece, either way so long as it shows progression, is interesting, or grabs attention, it will be valid.

Who is the media channel for? There’s no point sending an academic white paper to a tabloid newspaper – speak the same language or forget it.

The secret to making a great story isn’t the quantity of information, it’s the quality of information created for the audience it’s intended for. Just make sure it’s newsworthy – simple.


Article by ChewPR’s Managing Director, Colette Lowe. Colette is a CIPR Accredited Practitioner and can be contacted at chewpr.com