Trylon Communications  - January 2005

Content vs News

Too often, PR people try to interest journalists in “news” stories that aren’t newsworthy. Trying to place a news spin on a content story is misleading and can result in negative opinions on you, your company, and your story.

There are many stories worth telling that aren’t exactly newsworthy. If you have correctly identified the journalist and the story is relevant to his/her beat, giving them a story pitch with a relevant angle can bring you positive results.

Journalists are under increasing pressure to bring good content to the table. The fragmentation of media consumption drives more competition for good stories – whether they are news-related or not.

Story ideas that journalists may appreciate can include a pitch on an overlooked industry or technology, a compelling case study, fresh insight into an existing story line, or an expert’s take on a trend or breaking story.

Some of the most important things a journalist will look for when getting a story pitch are relevance to their beat, “fresh” ideas (not a rehash of something already published), an opportunity to offer their readers an exclusive story, and backup information.

So the next time you get ready to pitch a story to your media contacts, decide ahead of time if the story is an actual news story of if it should be pitched as interesting content. You will find the journalists more receptive to an honest approach.