How to Find Suitable Topics for Press Work
Have you already asked yourself which topics you want to talk about in your public relations work? “Sure, about my company,” you might say now. But have you thought that it might not be of interest to a journalist or a media you propose?
There is no question that you are enthusiastic about your product, but the fact that editors share this enthusiasm or see it as newsworthy is an entirely different matter. Simply informing about the existence of your company or reporting on your product or service usually doesn’t work.
Because journalists on your next press release are probably not as excited as you are about the next iPhone, you should generate your exciting topics that the editors will look up to from your keyboard. In this article, we want to tell you how you can do this. We will give you concrete examples and practical tips on thinking outside the box and adopting different perspectives when looking for a topic.
The News Facts
Communication science has identified some factors that increase the likelihood that journalists will report on a topic. One speaks of the so-called news factors or news value. Accordingly, the following news factors increase the possibility that events will be mentioned in the media: News, closeness, scope, people (especially celebrities), drama, curiosities and superlatives, conflict, sex, feelings, progress.
The more facts a topic serves, the greater the likelihood that journalists will pick it up. So if you’re buying a new house (newsworthy news), probably no one will be reporting on it. If Brad Pitt does the same thing (news factor news and celebrities), this news will take up various media.
You may now think that your company’s themes don’t do any of these news values justice. You may be offering a service that is already available thousands of times in a similar form and that is neither used by celebrities nor related to drama or sex.
That shouldn’t prevent you from dealing with the subject of presswork anyway because it often helps to think a little outside the box. If you look at topics from different angles and illuminate them in other contexts, they can be of interest to journalists.
Different Content for Different Media
The content that makes your PR work successful depends heavily on which journalists you turn to. Sending the same press release to a local newspaper and the specialist economic magazine makes no sense.
Each medium has different criteria by which to judge whether a topic is newsworthy or not. Your local paper is far more likely to report on your new artistically painted house than it is on Brad Pitt’s mansion. On the other hand, you have no chance of your home being mentioned in the gala or the colorful festival.
Example: Startup for Ergonomic Running Shoes
Three university graduates just founded the startup “Runner.” The product is to be sold through its online shop and retailers, chain stores, and extensive online shops within the United States.
Specialist media for retailers: Specialist media report on a specialist basis, so this is the right place to detail the product properties of the running shoe and mention the advantages over other shoes. The story of the founding, on the other hand, plays a subordinate role here.
Sports media: The popular sports press can also inform “Runner” about their product, but not in as much detail as the specialist media. It is also more important to tell a story about the product. For example, the founders could report that they met at a university running club. After one of them slipped on wet cobblestones and tore his ligament, the three decided to develop a running shoe with an exceptionally non-slip sole.