What is a story? Or is it a ‘so what’?

One of the best ways to get editorial coverage is to announce something new – it’s no coincidence that we all talk about ‘news’ – what’s new today/this week/this month. What might be new in your business? Perhaps you’re launching a new service or product? Perhaps you’ve appointed a new member of senior staff? Or you’ve got a new event coming up such as an open day or training course. All these things are new and are potential news stories.

Obviously some stories will only be news locally or within your sector, so it’s pointless emailing The Times about a new open day, but they may well be interested if you’ve got a genuinely new product you’re bringing to market. Think about who the news is relevant to and target it to the publication that audience is likely to be reading. Don’t forget this may well be online.

A good test of whether something is a strong story is to ask yourself ‘so what?’ Does your proposed story make a difference to anyone? Will it be useful to the reader or viewer? Will it make them think ‘that’s interesting’ or just ‘so what?’. If it’s the latter, chances are it won’t get covered. Journalists are always looking for something different, unusual or quirky – or preferably exciting, challenging or shocking. Think about the stories you see in a newspaper or magazine – none of them should make the reader think ‘so what?’ but should be of genuine interest or use to them. Now look at your business – what is new and exciting – not just to you but also to other people?

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Steve BustinAuthor: Steve Bustin (20 Posts)

I'm a media and communications trainer, working under the Vada Media and Medical Media Training brands, based in Brighton but working nationally and internationally.

You can also see my google+ profile here.