How to make a newsworthy business story

- February 20, 2024 3 MIN READ


For small businesses and startups trying to secure media coverage, it is important to understand what is newsworthy. But the answer will depend on the journalist, target media outlet, and the audience. Anthony Caruana and Kathryn Goater, Co-CEOs and Co-founders of Media-Wize share how to be certain your pitch hits its target.

Creating a story that is newsworthy is a craft. While nothing will get media attention faster than a crisis or a negative story, you need to find a hook or angle that is catchy and worthy of attention. That might be an exciting new product, a significant funding injection, strong growth, geographical expansion or high-profile senior hires attracted to work on the mission of your business. The range of potential topics is long and can even include research findings, unique backstories of founders, customer wins and case studies, events and partnerships.  

Newsworthiness can transform a mundane business event into a captivating news story. Journalists evaluate various factors when determining the newsworthiness of business stories. When you understand what journalists want, you can tailor PR strategies to increase your chances of gaining media coverage. Here are five key story elements journalists often consider: 

Relevance and impact: aligning with current trends 

In the fast-paced world of news and business, timing is everything. A story’s relevance to current industry trends, market shifts, or societal concerns is a vital factor in determining its newsworthiness. You need to keenly observe the pulse of your industry and identify how your company’s developments align with broader narratives. This is where you might be able to leverage the news cycle and provide commentary on something that is grabbing headlines.  

Unique value proposition: standing out from the crowd 

Achieving media coverage for your small business or startup is fiercely competitive. This means your unique value proposition (UVP) is a driving force behind newsworthiness. A story that highlights what sets your company, product, or service apart from the competition is inherently more appealing. PR campaigns should focus on articulating the distinct advantages, innovative features, or disruptive elements that position the business as a leader in its field.  

The human element: not the corporate/marketing/sales narrative 

Journalists and readers are drawn to stories that showcase people – from charismatic founders, to dedicated employees or happy customers who can talk about how using your product or service added value to their business and helped them solve a problem, or how to do things faster, smarter and easier. It is important to humanise the narrative and create emotional connections with the audience. Nothing turns journalists off faster than a thinly veiled marketing or sales pitch. Work hard to find the story nugget and package it right. This is where a skilled PR professional can help you.   

Thought leadership: provide expert insights  

Being a thought leader is a powerful way to enhance newsworthiness and build reputation and credibility. Contributing well-researched insights, data-backed analyses, or innovative perspectives to ongoing discussions adds depth and relevance to a story. Media outlets are more likely to consider content that not only informs but also sparks meaningful conversations – so you need to have a real opinion.  Additionally, if you are an expert in your field, then you can write about the common pain points and offer tips and advice on how to solve them. The aim is to add value, and the power for you is in the byline as the author.  

A picture tells a thousand words: don’t forget the visual appeal 

In today’s media landscape, visual content is a key consideration for newsworthiness. PR campaigns that incorporate high-quality images, videos, infographics, or interactive elements make the journalist’s job easier. Visuals enhance the storytelling and provide media outlets with ready-made assets that can be easily integrated into their coverage, which can help ensure your story makes the cut in that day’s news cycle.  

By strategically aligning stories with current trends, highlighting your unique value proposition, infusing the human element, establishing thought leadership and incorporating engaging visuals, your SMB or startup can amplify its chance of securing media coverage.  

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