Finding and Making News

(Chapter 4 – PRCA 3330)

Eight ways to make news:

  1. Timeliness is the most important characteristic of news. News must be current.
  2. Prominence. Movie stars, rock stars and professional athletes attract media coverage.  Other types of prominent people include politicians, former astronauts or retired Olympic medalists.  Giving an issue celebrity status cuts through the clutter of competing causes.
  3. Proximity has strong news value.  Whenever possible, localize information by using names of local dealers, retailers and other area representatives.
  4. Significance. Any situation or event that affects a large number of people is significant.
  5. Unusualness.  Anything out of the ordinary attracts press interest and public attention.
  6. Human Interest. People like to read about other people. PR writers have opportunities to humanize stories.
  7. Conflict. Conflict generates media interest and coverage such as controversies over global warming, gas prices, health care reform, and illegal immigrants, for example.
  8. Newness. You should always search for something new for media attention–new or updated products, new uses for old products, a new service or new buzz words–“organic,” “natural,” or “clean.” However, do not claim a product is new if the only thing new about it is the packaging!
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