On an average day, publications in the IoT, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom industries are pitched more than 100 times by companies looking for editorial coverage. The publications will possibly cover four or five of those stories. Is your news newsworthy enough to stand out and be one of the chosen ones?
Chances are, the answer is no, and that’s because most “news” put out by companies is not really newsworthy—or at least not newsworthy enough to warrant anything more than a press release pickup from those publications that leverage wire services. If you take a good look at your press release pipeline (you do have your press release schedule organized, right???), you should be able to spot what makes for good news stories and what is best posted on your website without press release distribution or media outreach. (We can help!)
So what makes a story newsworthy? By putting the three questions below to the test, marketers can best determine what has the potential to become a great news story and what will likely be ignored.
1. Why would a reporter or editor be interested in covering this story? What makes it interesting to their readers? Publications are businesses, and to keep their business running, they need to produce articles that people read—the more clicks, the better. So, in addition to thinking about what would make your story interesting to a reporter, you also need to think about what would make this interesting to their end users, the readers.
Face it, even though a new hire or an incremental product update may be very exciting to your company, most “news” like this isn’t interesting to reporters or readers. To find something interesting about a story usually takes some work. Is it the first product of its type? Are there interesting metrics you can show, such as a 30% reduction in OPEX costs? Find that special something about your news that will make reporters take notice. If there’s nothing, don’t bother with media outreach.
2. Is there a trend that you can latch onto? Now that we’ve moved beyond the months-long onslaught of COVID-19-related stories, what is the next trend that reporters should be aware of? How can you tie your news into a bigger story? Whether it’s a unique angle on COVID, a back to (virtual) school story or prepping networks for the upcoming e-Christmas, finding an interesting way to tell your story that ties into these trends can give it a leg up over other pitches the reporters is receiving.
3. Do you have a customer or partner that can lend credence to the story? Why go it alone when you can have a customer or partner help tell your story. This is the nirvana of all newsworthy B2B stories. A customer holds the most weight and is something most reporters pay attention to, but a strong partner advocate can also be a good co-author of your news. Readers are always interested in how other companies have “been there, done that” successfully, and if readers are interested, the media will be as well.
Is your news really newsworthy? In the end, that’s for the publications to decide. By sharing your best news with them, wrapped up in a succinct story, you have a better opportunity for long-term success.
And if you don’t have newsworthy news, check out Calysto’s White Paper on how to stay in front of the media without news.
© 2020 Calysto Communications