Remember the “New” in News

Public Relations

in the newsWhy won’t anyone pick up my press release?  We get that question a lot when advisors come to us after getting frustrated by the lack of results in their DIY PR campaign.  There are many reasons a PR campaign could be having trouble, but there’s one reason we see again and again: advisors are forgetting the “new” in “news.”

What does that mean exactly? Members of the media, whether in your local town or in the national eye, have a duty to let the public know what’s going on in the world around them.  But what is “happening” changes every day, and so the media reports on what has changed (what is new).

This might seem obvious, but let’s put it into the context of your local PR campaign.  Say you opened a new office a few months ago.  When you first opened the office, you were swamped with work and didn’t have time to put together a release or pitch the story.  But things have calmed down and you finally get that press release pulled together and send it out… Not a lot of interest? The reason? Your office isn’t new and therefore doesn’t qualify as news.

This happens when you’re commenting on the news, too, not just when you’re creating it.  Wait too long to pitch your take on a national story and nobody will pick it up.  The media isn’t interested in writing about it because their audience is no longer interested in reading about it.  The news is a fast-paced environment, so your PR must be too.

The timeline for the expiration of your news depends on a lot of variables.  There isn’t a hard and fast rule for how long you’ll still be able to successfully pitch.  Is the publication daily? Weekly? Monthly? Is there a lot of other news going on that could push your info out?  How important is it that the public hears your news?

To avoid your news becoming old news, you’ve got to be quick on the draw.  When something important happens, write that release (get compliance approval as quickly as possible) and get it out to the press! Sometimes you can even prep ahead of time.  Have templates or prepared media materials ready for when the occasion presents itself.

The media isn’t there to just give you publicity, it exists to give the public the news.  You can be part of that news if you work at it.  Before you start a pitch or campaign, ask yourself: What’s NEW about my news? If you are having trouble coming up with an answer, you might want to try a different story.

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