Newspaper 1

What is newsworthy? Part 2

This is the second instalment from Red Marlin advising how to maximise your PR opportunities.

The first four initial elements highlighted earlier this week were timeliness, closeness, significance and human interest

Today’s article highlights the importance of surprise, usefulness, prominence and finally…the ‘so what’ test.

Next week, attention turns on how to stand out from the crowd. This will appear on Tuesday 9th October, so make sure to check it out!


Including an element of surprise is always a great way to catch the attention of an editor. It doesn’t necessarily have to be shocking but simply something that catches people off-guard and makes them want to learn more.

Stories with an unexpected hook stand more chance of achieving media coverage. For instance, it could be the results from a survey or a study (clearly it needs to be relevant to your business) that’s been conducted which surprisingly show that most Brits only wash their bed sheets once a year!


Stories that are useful also demand more press attention. People are bombarded with problems and issues on a daily basis so if your article helps answer questions, or provides expert insight, then it is of benefit to the audience.


It’s a harsh fact but famous people get more media coverage simply because they are famous.

Obviously it might not be possible to get an A-list celebrity involved but having an industry expert or local dignitary can add weight to your story. Make use of any contacts that you have that are appropriate and can enhance your offering.

Finally….Give it the ‘so what’ test

Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Does your news story withstand the ‘so what’ test.

If it is uninteresting, boring and dull, which has little or no value to it, then you will be doing more damage by issuing it rather than waiting for something that is genuinely newsworthy.

Also, if it is advertising dressed up as a press release, then think twice before hitting the send button!

Next instalment is next week and looks at how to stand out from the crowd.

For more information about a free one-hour PR audit for your business, or more guidance on ‘What is newsworthy?’, please email

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