PR professionals are consultants, and as consultants, they must bow to the every wish of their clients. One of the most frustrating things about working for a PR firm is when a client comes to you with company news that no one outside of the company will have any interest in. You push out the pitch because your client requested it (and refused to listen to reason), but you know the outcome before you’ve sent out your first pitch: no one cares.
As entrepreneurs, we sometimes lose sight of what makes our brand interesting. Sure, that new CRM you just implemented is exciting to you—but what makes you think your customers care?
Three developments that companies regularly mistake for news:
- New Hires – Unless it’s the former CTO of Google, no one cares.
- Anniversaries – Unless you’re at the century mark, it probably isn’t important.
- New Customer – Unless you have measurable results and an interesting story, what brands you serve should be limited to your website.
Sorry to let you down like that. So what makes a newsworthy pitch for a journalist? A “yes” answer to any of the five questions below is usually a good sign you have something to talk about.
01: Have I read a similar story about a company the size of ours?
A "yes" answer to this question doesn’t secure newsworthy status, but it does mean that someone out there is interested in your story.
02: Does the pitch add insight to or capitalize off of a news trend?
If you’re selling waterproofing products right before a hurricane, it might be newsworthy. If you’ve found a solution to data security in the cloud, even better.
03: Is the story timely?
If you were the first site in your industry to offer free shipping, that’s great. But if everyone is doing it now, you may have missed the boat.
04: Do you have evidence to back up your story?
If you’re launching a new product, how do you know it works? If you’re pitching a success story, is the customer willing to talk?
05: Does it impact your customers?
A new development may affect your business—but how does it affect your audience? That’s the most important thing a journalist cares about.