Q: My boss says our company needs public relations. She told me to find something interesting to write about and then send a press release to the local news media. How can I tell if something I find interesting will be interesting to a reporter?
A: You are right that there’s a line between merely interesting and newsworthy. To find that line, apply what we call the “So what?” test. To pass the test, you need good answers to three questions:
What’s new? Is your news truly new, different or special?
Who cares? Will many people outside your company care about this?
What’s the difference? Will this make a difference to others or the community?
To practice and sharpen your “So what” skills, take this News or Not News Quiz.
Quiz: News or Not News?
- Your office has a new vending machine! It has a nifty neon panel. Is this news? YES or NO?
- Your office has a new vending machine that dispenses live crabs! You imported it from China and it’s the first of its kind in the United States! Is this news? YES or NO?
- Your boutique hotel has a concierge who books theater tickets, makes dinner reservations and knows the best dry cleaner in town. Is this news? YES or NO?
- Your boutique hotel has a concierge with a knack for fulfilling unusual requests. He just handled a doozy – helping an art-mad guest who was on a quest to see all 36 existing paintings by Vermeer, one of which was privately held by the Queen of England! The concierge got the client into a gallery in Buckingham Palace off limits to the public. Is this news? YES or NO?
Even if you don’t have a shellfish vending machine or access to royal art, do not despair. News can be made! Survey your customers on a hot topic. Create something, rip something down, throw a huge party to benefit a nonprofit. There are lots of ways to get media attention.
To learn more about earned media, call Hollister Creative at 484.829.0021 or email [email protected]. We can work with you on a public relations plan to get your company in the news in a positive way.