We’ve all heard the saying “if it bleeds, it leads.” Luckily, in the financial services industry we don’t have to worry about “blood and guts.” However, not everything your company may do or accomplish should be considered newsworthy. The second post in our public relations series covers what constitutes news and answers a question we get asked a lot here at Twenty Over Ten – “when should I issue a press release?”
Yes, issuing a press release is an effective and efficient way to get news out to reporters. But before you put pen to paper you should ask yourself these four questions to ensure that your story is in fact newsworthy:
1. will anyone actually care?
This is likely one of the most important questions to ask yourself. This can be a really tough question to ask yourself but the key is being 100% objective. You may be excited about your new office assistant or the launch of a new product or service, but will anyone else? If your answer is “no,” then hang tight on distributing a press release and wait until you’ve got a better, more well-rounded and impactful story to tell.
2. is there anything “new” in my story?
Trends play a large role in determining what is newsworthy. If your story can piggyback on a current trending topic the chances of your press release being picked up are more likely. Not sure what’s trending? Pick up a newspaper or get on Twitter and see what all the chatter is about. Also, do your research. If your announcement or story angle has already been reported on then it’s likely no longer new and relevant. After all, news is new!
3. is there anything unusual or unexpected about my announcement?
Typically if something is unusual, shocking or just plain bizarre it may be newsworthy. After building your press list take a look at the stories those journalists have written and ask yourself if they would find your topic interesting. Reporters are bombarded with releases, pitches and phone calls day in and day out. With so many potential stories to cover, they will be drawn to to your announcement or story idea if it’s a truly unique one.
4. is this interesting to anyone outside of my business?
If your announcement may impact an audience wider than just your business it may be worthwhile to share with the news media. Consider how your news affects your community, the local economy or the industry. Did you reach your sales goals or hire a new office manager? Yawn. While that may be interesting or exciting to you and your team members it unfortunately does not appeal to a wider audience.
If you can answer “yes!” to these four questions then your announcement may be newsworthy. Remember, the greater the impact, the more newsworthy a story is. Stay tuned next week where we’ll share everything you need to know about distributing your press releases on the wire.
You may also be interested in: Public Relations 101: The Basics and Roundup: Tech Tools for Financial Advisors [Infographic]