The Public Relations Blog
We frequently blog about the latest public relations corporation communications, and marketing topics, tips, and trends. Our blog is one of the 100 Best Public Relations Blogs for 2023, according to FeedSpot. Please help yourself to our insights and be sure to subscribe to our weekly blog notifications.
Avoid unethical business practices to keep your reputation safe.
While many companies seek earned media coverage, they always hope the news media will portray them in a positive light. And while public relations efforts can increase your chances of positive news media coverage, it’s important to realize the news media doesn’t have to honor your positive reputation.
News media outlets publish stories their consumers will find newsworthy. Newsrooms use a range of news elements that news consumers care about in their stories to give the stories news value, and not all of these elements will bode well for your company. If you consume news media, you may notice how many stories feature some sort of scandal – whether it’s some celebrity feud or, in our concern, negative company news.
Most companies want to be the best of the best — the first in innovation, the biggest company in a field — and consumers want to know who the best is. If you look at the news, you might notice that media outlets give special attention to stories with these extremes. That’s because such superlatives have great news value, and they can help your company earn media coverage if you demonstrate them honestly.
Your company’s unique, entertaining stories can communicate your mission through earned media coverage.
When you think of news, you might imagine serious, consequential topics. While these make up a large part of news coverage, it’s important to remember that not all news has to be dire or grave. News is “what’s new,” and extraordinarily unique, odd, and novel events can be newsworthy.
Newsrooms look for stories that demonstrate news value, so if you want to generate earned media coverage for your company, you must incorporate the elements of news journalists look for in your media pitches. News consumers are more likely to care about and interact with news stories that contain these elements.
Showcase your company’s personality by pitching feature stories for earned media coverage.
With much of the news consisting of timely, serious stories known as “hard news,” people can find relief in “soft news,” which covers topics like lifestyle, arts and culture, and human interest stories. While emotion-based human interest stories (also called features) may seem weak compared to fact-heavy hard news stories, they serve an important purpose in journalism and have great news value.
If you’re looking to earn media coverage for your company, it’s important that your story ideas are newsworthy. Newsworthiness is a factor newsrooms use to determine which stories to pursue and publish. A newsworthy story depends on important news values — elements of news that make audiences care about your story.
When seeking earned media coverage, show PR agencies why journalists will take interest in your story.
Your company might rely on hiring a PR agency to be your fast-track ticket to a spot in a top news story. However, it’s not always as simple as buying guaranteed news media coverage. While a PR agency can certainly connect your brand with newsrooms, your company must be newsworthy if you want to earn a spot in the news. We have established relationships with many different newsrooms and can pitch to relevant ones, but we cannot guarantee you media coverage in a specific publication.
When you reach out to a PR agency for earned media coverage, come prepared with the reason why your company deserves it. Being a successful company isn’t reason enough for newsrooms to run a story about you. Think of how many other successful companies exist — they likely all desire earned media coverage too.
Earn more news media coverage by pitching stories with conflict.
Everyone loves drama. Yes, even you. Look at the news — story after story includes some sort of physical or emotional conflict, from sports rivalries to company comparisons to celebrity face-offs. The truth is that news consumers love reading about drama, which is why conflict can add great news value to a story.
When a story has more news value, it becomes more newsworthy, meaning news consumers are more likely to care, interact, and engage with it. Newsrooms look for stories with great news value, so it’s important to incorporate elements of news in your pitches when trying to gain earned media coverage.
To interest journalists, pitch stories with news that will greatly affect target audiences.
When you think about what you see and hear in the news, you may generate a negative image. Extremely serious and urgent news stories often find priority in the news cycle, and these stories can often leave an emotional impact on news consumers. One reason for this emotional impact is because news consumers recognize that these stories carry consequence. When you know that something could change your life, in many cases negatively, you’re more likely to care about it and pay attention.
Stories that affect more people are more likely to earn media coverage.
Impact: What comes to mind when you think of this word? An asteroid impact, maybe? Something powerful — physically and emotionally? Think about the asteroid metaphor: A huge event like that would affect many people — virtually everyone on Earth. You’d want to see that in the news before it happened, right? That’s because the event is not just literally an impact. The event has impact, meaning it affects a great number of people.
Pitch stories that happen near your target audience to catch journalists’ attention.
When pitching stories to journalists to earn media coverage, your story must stand out if you want them to accept it. As a marketing and communications professional working with news media, you need to understand what journalists look for when scanning pitches if you want them to pick up your story.
Highlight the currency of your media pitches to interest journalists.
When you consume news, you may notice a pattern: Most news is timely. Likely, you prefer to hear about events that happened recently — the more current, the more interesting. This is called timeliness, and it’s one of the most important pillars of newsworthiness.