Do you understand the value of a good story?
Information, news, articles, features, content, content, content – it’s absolutely everywhere – but is it of value? And is it a good story?
Creating stories or delivering your business message isn’t just a formulaic process; it requires planning, focus, creativity and the ability to format it correctly.
So how can you get back in touch with content that is meaningful, interesting, and human, and above all worthy enough for a journalist to feature?
Claim back your untold stories and take your share of the content voice by sticking to this ten step newsworthy plan.
Is this a big story of national importance, maybe even bigger, possibly worldwide? Think about the recent “Cure for Cancer” headlines or “Woman 106 dances with Obamas”.
Whatever the topic it has to relevant for its audience, you wouldn’t send your school exam results to a business magazine but you’d definitely send the news to your local newspaper.
Anyone or anything that wields power is of interest to the media. Whether it’s about a powerful person, corporation, or economy, just think about the recent headline “Cambodia will splash at least £30,000 on a lakeside toilet for the visit of a Thai princess”.
Does it involve a celebrity? In this celebrity obsessed era you’re sure to catch attention if your story involves someone who is well known. From a soap star visiting your charitable cause to a pop star referencing your brand in a song, the opportunity is there for the taking.
It could be something quirky, something that breaks with tradition, or makes us laugh. Remember the biscuit shortage news? A serious story made quirky as we learnt of the United Biscuits factory being hit by Storm Desmond.
6. Bad news
The news is full of bad news; it won’t be difficult to follow an example. Job loses, conflict, disaster, death, misconduct, you name it; the media just loves bad and sad news.
7. Good news
Achievement, success, triumph over adversity, heroism, bravery; from a local charity story to the London student who beat one in a 25 million odds of finding a stem cell donor to fight her blood cancer. Human interest and the feel-good factor is the key.
Hidden talents and myth busting are always good topics for the media. Did you know Steve Jobs created the first ever computer-animated feature film – Toy Story? Did you know it doesn’t matter how much Vitamin C you take it won’t prevent you from catching a cold?
9. Follow up
Everyone likes a follow-up. Just think of the programme Grand Designs; don’t we just love seeing how the houses look after five years? Maybe you have a ‘latest development’ story, or ‘where we are now’ piece, either way so long as it shows progression, is interesting or grabs attention it will be valid.
Who is the media channel for? There’s no point sending an academic white paper to a tabloid newspaper – speak the same language or forget it.
The secret to making a great story isn’t the quantity of information, it’s the quality of information created for the audience it’s intended for. Just make sure it’s newsworthy – simple.