How News Values Drive Brand Publicity And Social Shareability

How News Values Drive Brand Publicity And Social Shareability

Why do some companies, brands and products get media attention while others struggle and scramble but get no exposure that drives sales?

Just returned from PGA Merchandise Show where I saw so many companies working so hard to get attention and coverage for their products and brands.

Fortunately, some companies get that exposure, which is invaluable in driving traffic to conventional and onsite retailers and their own sites. That coverage also is so powerful in building brand credibility and providing content that builds brand reputation. It drives SEO success too.

However, why do so many companies get little or no attention from mainstream and new media and bloggers?

Plain and simple, their product innovation, new marketing initiatives, new sponsorship or endorsement just aren’t newsworthy.

What can they do about this?

I have talked often about these new values in the past.

  • Novelty
  • Timeliness
  • Proximity
  • Impact
  • Conflict
  • Needs
  • Prominence

These values are so important that I use them to assess the newsworthiness of a client’s “news” story, and help manage expectations and create appropriate strategies to promote media attention and coverage.

Recently, I heard about another list about reporters’ guidelines for newsworthiness. It complements and reinforces my feelings. The guidelines come from On Deadline – Managing Media Relations  by Carol Howard and Wilma Matthews, both accomplished communications professionals.

Some say that what makes news is so different in today’s social world. Well, they are wrong. The same news values that apply to mainstream media apply to social media. In fact, many of the factors that influence shareability reflect or expand on these values and guidelines.

Here a Carol and Wilma’s 10 guidelines for newsworthiness:

  1. Is the story local? Does it have a local “hook” to it — something that will interest readers or viewers in your area? For trade or specialty media, and websites or blogs – is the material of interest to their specialized audience?
  2. Is this information unique or unusual? Is it the first, the latest, the last, the fastest, the biggest or the oldest of something?
  3. Is the subject matter timely? Is this something happening now or that will happen in the near future? Does the subject matter relate to another item that is currently being discussed publicly or might reflect a new trend?
  4. Is it timeless? Is this a topic with a long shelf life — such as the environment, economy, jobs, safety or the government?
  5. Does this information concern people? Our curiosity about the lives and events of others are evidenced by the strong sales of magazines devoted just to people and by the growing number of “reality” shows and talk shows on television and online.
  6. Does this material create human interest? Pathos? Humor?
  7. Does this information have consequences that affect lives? Does it educate, inform or entertain? Is it of moral or social importance?
  8. Are the people involved famous or prominent?
  9. Does the story have strong local, national or international interest?
  10. Is this news of the widest possible interest to all those who are within the scope of the media’s distribution (print or electronic)?

My colleague Julie Ferguson-Kearney, a sharp, savvy and expert communications pro, recommended this book and uses it for her media relations class at DePaul. Thanks Julie.

How are you evaluating and promoting the news about your products, services, innovations, brand and company?


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