By Sandy Dubay
Posted on June 8, 2021
Filed under: Communications, Digital Marketing, Economic Development, Public Relations, Publicity, Relationship Building, Storytelling, Travel & Tourism

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[PR Challenge Week 1] How to come up with newsworthy topics

In Cision’s recent State of the Media Summit, they shared some statistics and trends in the media as the country recovers from the pandemic:

  • Nearly a third of journalists are prioritizing stories on getting back to normal in 2021.
  • There’s a 13% increase in retail press releases compared to 2020.
  • Travel coverage is up 6% with over 6 million articles throughout the first four months of 2021, as compared to the last four months of 2020.
  • In mid-April, travel distributions exceeded 2019 figures for the first time since the pandemic began.
  • Trend reports are anticipating increased travel plans as eager travelers enter the second quarter and more individuals become vaccinated.

Source: Cision’s State of the Media Summit

This is a key time for economic development organizations and travel and tourism organizations to get your stories out there in the media. So we’re sharing a PR Challenge tip and action step in the next four blogs!

We all know how important advertising is. But have you ever pursued “free” positive publicity for your organization? When featured editorially versus as a paid advertiser, you get to reach an audience in a different way, and your organization is seen as “newsworthy.”

Earned Media or “free” positive publicity can include online coverage (in blogs, newsletters, and online newspapers and magazines), as well as offline coverage such as an op-ed piece, letters to the editor, tv, or radio.

To kick things off, let’s start with how to come up with newsworthy topics to pitch to the media.

A newsworthy story is something that has an impact. The greater the impact, the more newsworthy a story is. If the information would not be considered relevant to the general public or to your industry, it is not “newsworthy.”

The story should have an impact on any of the following:

  • Your consumers
  • The community
  • The public
  • Society

Think about newsworthy in terms of – will this add value to the audience? Is it new or different? Overall, does this support the public good? Here are some examples of newsworthy topics for Economic Development Organizations:

  • Business success related to COVID recovery
  • New business expansion or attraction announcements
  • New program or services
  • Reporting out a success

What’s NOT newsworthy? Things that you have to pay to promote, like selling tickets to an event or thanking sponsors.

Remember, every news outlet is different and has different guidelines. Look into what their style is and frequently covered topics are and then organize your information in the form of a pitch. (More on that in next week’s blog post.)

So, what stories could your organization share that are newsworthy? Discuss and brainstorm with your team! Hit reply to share!

Til next time,
Sandy

P.S. Would you like to have a customized media strategy that gets the attention of the media and helps you achieve your specific goals? Contact us to set up a free 15-minute consultation.

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