So you think you’ve got national news?

It’s not every day you get a front page story, but when a client comes to you with a cracking piece of news you need to be able to harness it in the best way possible.

Even in an increasingly digital news climate, clients dream of being in the nationals, but they might not have a national story on their hands. It’s up to us to manage expectations and advise clients what coverage will help them reach their goals.

So how do you know when you’ve got hold of a national news story?  Read our checklist below to see what makes the headlines…

  1. It’s a first or an unknown – The nationals need new news, so something that’s a few years old probably won’t make the cut. Whether that’s new statistics, studies, research or achievements. It’s no good going to them with information they already have, or if another company has beaten you to it.
  2. It’s of public interest – Something that’s going to help the general population, whether that’s helping them to save money or helping their long term health.
  3. It’s shocking – “Eating this food daily can prevent blindness”. Picture the headline – does it have that shock factor? Will it make people want to read on? After all, it’s not just the journalist you need to impress, but the audience they are writing for.
  4. Case studies are key – A story can be made national with a super case study. If there’s someone who has been affected by your story and they’re happy to share it, have them available for the media to speak to for extra ‘oomph’ and to stand up your story.
  5. Know the news agenda – You need to time the story right. If it’s election time, or if a major scandal is going on, your story may not get much of a look in. Know what’s in the agenda and find the right time to pitch. You might even be able to use something in the news as a hook for your story.
  6. Have a good image – Providing a quality, high res image can help your chances of being noticed and makes the picture editor’s life a lot easier too. It might be an image of your case study, spokesperson, location or a really good stock photo.

Obviously there’s a bit more to it than this, but the above gives you a great starting point. PR consultants should be able to pinpoint when a story has national potential and be honest with you when it doesn’t!



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