Trylon Communications  - April 2004

What Is New$?

A new book from Princeton University Press, All the News Thatís Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News by James T. Hamilton, examines the expanding role of economics on what is and isnít considered news. If youíre trying to get a relevant story placed, but canít find an outlet, this book may help you determine which media may be more interested and why.

Media bias isnít a new concept. However, trying to analyze the economic importance of a story to the media you are pitching may be. As outlined in the article about the state of the news media (click here for article), economic relevance may become a crucial factor in whether or not your story gets picked up.

Hamilton lists several factors that help determine why a news organization chooses a particular story.

First, who cares about the story? This is a direct application of market demographics to news coverage. An obvious example of this is network televisionís move from hard news towards more sensational and celebrity-type news in order to draw a larger audience.

Where can you reach people interested in the story? What media will best impact your demographic? If you are pitching a high-tech story, for instance, it may be better to approach a digital media outlet rather broadcast, since digital media readers are usually more tech-savvy.

Other questions to keep in mind include: When is it profitable to provide the information? In other words, what is the point if there is no economic incentive? How is your story tied to possible revenue sources Ė advertisers, consumers or sponsors?

The next time you are developing a PR strategy, it may pay to consider the economic impact of the story on the media you are pitching. If you would like more information on Hamiltonís book, click here.