How to spot a newsworthy story

The Public Relations landscape may have changed dramatically over the last few years, particularly with the onset of digital and social media, but one of the bread and butter services of PR continues to be the press release. It remains one of the best ways to get your business’s message out there, to connect and communicate with journalists and therefore potential customers.

Despite being one of the most important tools of the PR trade, so many still get it wrong. Journalists often complain of press releases that are dull, vague, irrelevant or lacking in information. Tackling these issues is one of the keys to getting noticed and improving your media relations. Journalists receive hundreds of press releases everyday so it’s important to make yours stand out from the crowd.

Unsure what to talk about? Every company has a story to tell. The skill lies in sorting out the wheat from the chaff and focussing your PR on newsworthy stories. Really think about what you are putting out into the media domain and take a look at these 5 pointers to help you understand what makes a great story.

1. Timing

The modern world moves at an incredibly fast pace and so do its newsrooms. Topics which are current are good news. Consumers, more so than ever before, receive the latest updates instantly so a story which was relevant yesterday may not be today. Discussing your involvement in a motorsport event or automotive show that occurred a month ago will be ignored.

2. Proximity

Readers will take more notice to a story which has happened near to them .The closer the story to home, the more newsworthy it is. If your story relates to communities and businesses in Warwickshire then make sure to target the relevant local press and publications. Is the story important nationally or internationally? Think carefully about where your story has relevance.

3. Unexpected

Anything out of the ordinary has the potential for great news. ‘Dog bites man’ isn’t news. But ‘Man bites dog’?! Now that’s a story. Has your business got any unusual automotive news? Have you contributed something new and exciting to the industry?

4. Continuity

Is an issue or topic that relates to your business being already being discussed in the media and out in the public domain? Whether it is road safety campaign or general motoring advice, have your say and utilise your expertise and industry knowledge.

5. Personalisation:

Does your story have a ‘human interest’ angle? Does it relate to an individual in the organisation? Has anyone in the company achieved anything significant, such as raising money for charity?

These simple rules should give some extra zing to your news stories but if you need some extra inspiration or help in focusing your business’s news then get in touch with us. Email us at, tweet @RedMarlinPR or call us on 01926 832395.


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