In my public relations class this past semester, we talked a lot about writing news releases and in particular, what makes a story newsworthy. Here are six important qualities that make a story newsworthy:
- Known Principle
- Human Interest
When writing a news release, we want to make sure many outlets are interested in our story, because this will lead to publicity. If a news release includes one of the six qualities, we can ensure our story is newsworthy.
Oddity refers to something unusual that occurs; something that doesn’t happen everyday.
An example of conflict in the news is the debate over stem cell research, or the recent debates over a health care reformation. When there is a conflict, we can guarantee that it will be all over the news.
An example of known principle is the president. His every move is newsworthy.
Impact refers to something that impacts many people, the community, or the nation. An example of this is the economy.
Proximity refers to local news. Because self-interest is often high, if you can find a local angle in your story, it will make news.
An example of the human-interest component is ‘cute, nice, light-hearted stories’. If someone overcomes a controversy, or turns something negative into positive, the public will be interested.
*The most important news value is where you will distribute your release. It is crucial to know your audience and which media outlets meet the needs of your target audience.