'Newsworthy' - Your Shortcut to Relevant Content Production

By Dan Willstrand Sep 18, 2018

Tags Advertiser

Reading 4 min

In this post you’ll learn how to create more engaging content by letting the elements of ‘news’ guide you.

In a recent interview, telecom giant Ericsson’s Head of Digital Marketing, Johan Kristiansson, mentioned ‘newsworthy’ as an important factor in production of engaging content. His trick is to ask himself: ‘what would journalists write about this story?’ and let that guide him in the content creation process.

Newsworthy

But what does newsworthy mean? The definition sounds: interesting enough to the audience to warrant reporting. Easy to understand, but when you’re inside a company it can be difficult to assess if your story really is interesting enough, because you are so carried away by your vision, mission and daily success. You have the insider’s perspective and may be convinced that people should love reading about your company’s recent streamlining of customer support. Well, sorry to say; customer support does not engage people, they just expect it to work!

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Here's a checklist with 7 criteria that will truly help you identify and produce the most newsworthy stories from your business:

  1. PROXIMITY
    The closer the story is geographically to your audience, the more interesting it’ll be. Globalization is here and your company may be multinational, but try to find the local applications and examples in your stories.
  2. TIMELINESS
    Stories taking place now–or maybe yesterday–are more relevant than something that happened a week ago. Especially with today’s intense news flow. Use this fact by a) publishing stories reacting on current events, and b) prepare planned stories in advance so you can publish immediately when it’s time.
  3. HUMAN INTEREST
    Can your story evoke emotions? Will it make people laugh or feel compassion? Then chances are good it will be read and shared. Such content will also live longer and can be used as evergreens.
  4. IMPACT
    Events affecting a lot of people, or having major consequences are more important and therefore more newsworthy. For B2B companies it can be smarter to talk about consequences for the customers’ customer, the end-user, than the consequences for the customer. Because that involves more people.
  5. CONFLICT
    This is a tricky one. Readers are always interested in disagreements and rivalries. But you have to accept risk, and be willing to choose side. The most famous example I can think of as I write this post, is Nike’s support for kneeling football player Colin Kaepernick. The controversial campaign did upset some people, but it also galvanized the company's core customer base. And remember, daring be controversial was what built Nike’s brand in the first place, as it choose to support a young, hellraising John McEnroe.
  6. ODDITY
    Everything that’s different is worth taking a closer look at. Unusual or shocking, the strangeness alone can make it newsworthy. Blendtec's Will It Blend? is still s super example of how a company can reach a massive audience by putting their products in a strange context.
  7. PROMINENCE
    Famous people get more coverage just because they are famous. There are two ways of using that: a) always produce stories when you actually have prominent people engage with your company or your products, and b) put your company in a celebrity context by reacting to what famous people have done or said. Agree or disagree. This text is a good example; since I commented on Colin Kaepernick above, I just increased the chances of this post being read by googling marketers, one of Strossle’s prime target groups.

Good luck with your storytelling! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to give your readers the answers to the basic journalistic questions: Who was involved? What happened? Where did it take place? When did it take place? Why did it happen?

Dan Willstrand

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