We love a good headline here at Marketing Signals. There have been some real crackers of the years, but it can’t be denied they’re hard to come by.

Unfortunately our clients are without anecdotes about ham(ster) sandwiches and 1980s comics. Nor are there any kiss and tell stories with cast members of TOWIE. They are laden with knowledge, knowhow and data however, that can offer incredibly valuable insight.

With all our clients, we look at what they have to offer and what the media would like to hear from them. To figure these out, we follow the golden rules of what makes a piece of content newsworthy…

Time is of the Essence

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It’s a little difficult to predict the news when you’re developing a campaign to be released in a month’s time. What you can do is angle your story on a day/event that is set in stone. This could be a sporting event such as Wimbledon, a one off event, for instance a royal wedding, or even a national day like St Patrick’s Day and Pancake Day.

Anniversaries are always a good place to start and there’s always plenty to choose from. 2018 will welcome the 200th birthday of Frankenstein, Emily Bronte and Karl Marx. Of course, it’s been 100 years since women got the vote and it’ll be 50 years since the first Isle of Wight Festival and the first Lloyd Webber musical.

All will likely earn some form of coverage, well worth piggybacking on. Naturally, there must be a tangible link between client and occasion.

Offer a Regional Angle

One of the key ways to pick up coverage and make something newsworthy is by broadening horizons.

Adding multiple regional angles will allow you to tailor the top line and create multiple stories that are relevant to multiple outlets across the country. Ranking regions or cities is always a good method of achieving this and can generally be done with almost any industry.

The past month alone has seen the following hit the news, all with regional angles:

  • The most affordable cities in the UK for first time buyers – The Sun
  • The top 10 kindest cities have been revealed – The Mirror     
  • Three Welsh beaches named among the Top 10 in Britain – WalesOnline
  • The top 10 locations for £1million homes in the UK – Bristol Post

That’s to name a few, all gaining both national and regional coverage. A local paper, or news outlet, love their patch to be the best, worst or in the top five of something. It’s their bread and butter on top of public protests and petty crime.

Create Something Rankable

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Take a look at the examples above. They are all Top 10s of something. Supplying data that can be broken down into bite size chunks is much more appealing to a reader, while also allowing journalists to play around with it.

Don’t be afraid send a journalist your data and workings as they may use an angle you didn’t lead with in the press release.

There are plenty of things you can rank with the same set of data. Often you can break your data down by region, city, gender, age and profession, all of which can be ranked.

For example:

  • The North West has the safest roads in the country
  • Manchester has the safest roads in the country
  • Female’s are safer drivers than men in the UK
  • Young People are the safest drivers in the country
  • Builders have more crashes in the UK than any other occupation

This example shows five different angles, and if ranked in a top 10 best and top 10 worst style (gender and age aside) this potentially gives you 20 unique places to outreach for each one.

Is This Unique?

Most importantly it has to be something that’s offering up something new. If a similar story was covered less than a year ago, chances are it’s no longer on a media outlet’s news agenda.

Finding an angle that hasn’t been covered, or to the degree of the detail you will go into is vital. A piece of coverage looking at the nationalities of the current Premier League champions in football is very different to exploring the nationality of every Premier League champion, or every team in the Premier League.  

Providing more depth on an already discussed topic can be an excellent way to step into the discussion, although it will still require the timely element.

But be different. Journos get hundreds of press releases every day. It’s being the one that stands out that counts.