Elizabeth "Libby" DallaTezza
2018-2019 National Historian and Media Relations Ambassador
Five Newsworthy Factors to Consider
Many members have expressed the need and desire to share the message of who the VFW Auxiliary is and what we do as an organization in local media throughout the country, but aren’t sure how to go about doing it. Below are five newsworthy factors to consider when sharing your Auxiliary’s story with local media:
- Timeliness: In the world of news, the newer a story is, the better. In today’s world, stories grow old in the blink of an eye. After all, it is called news for a reason. Some people use the analogy of a baked good for news–you don’t want to serve it before it’s ready, but you don’t want it to become stale either. Thoroughly cooked (thought out), and hot out of the oven (still relevant), is usually best.
- Proximity: Ever heard the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind?” Well, it doesn’t just imply to that junk drawer in every family’s kitchen; it applies to news as well. People tend to care more about news in their hometown than news about far-away lands.
- Impact: Before sending a story to the media, read your story objectively. Ask yourself “so what?” Does the story have the potential to impact the lives of others? Will they care about your story?
- Unique: Is your story unique? The old saying in the news business is that when a dog bites a man, it’s not news. If something becomes commonplace, no one will care. However, if something is unusual people will care. If a man bites a dog, now that’s news.
- Human Interest: The general idea is that people are interested in other people. We identify with other people, and that’s part of what gives a story human interest.
These are five newsworthy factors that you should consider before sharing a story with the media. Your story does not (and probably will not) have to have all of the qualities, but must have at least one. Any additional factors your story possesses after the necessary first are major bonus points. The more factors your story possesses, the more likely your story is to be picked up.
So, next time you reach out to the media, ask yourself if your story is something a journalist would want to read or something only your mom would want to read.
“Most people treat the news media like the exercise bike they have in their basement. They’re glad it’s there but they never use it.”