Lisa Manyon, who is developing a series of classes for small-business owners through the Idaho Small Business Development Center, including a segment on free publicity, asked me to explain the difference between events that are newsworthy and those that aren’t.
If you follow my tips, you already know what most of them are—everything from trends that you’re seeing in your industry to any product or service you provide that solves a problem.
Here’s the list of eight things I came up with that are not newsworthy:
—Anything that sounds like a blatant free commercial for your product or service.
—The fact that you have a new website. (Instead, pitch something on the site such as a free special report, free articles, free tips, etc.)
—A letter that a happy customer has written to you saying how much they love your product or service. It may be a great testimonial but it isn’t news.
—An event such as a school play or a backyard carnival that you think “deserves” coverage as in, “Our kids worked so hard on the school play that we think they really deserve a story on the front page of your paper.” (Dream on, lady.)
—Something that isn’t different. News is what happens that’s different. If it isn’t different, it isn’t news.
—An article explaining what you did on your summer vacation. (Sometimes this is, indeed, newsworthy if, for example, you went backpacking through Australia or skiing in the Alps. But a trip to Disney World isn’t news.)
—Photos of what you did on your summer vacation.
—Ribbon-cuttings, ground-breakings and check-passing stories or photos. Pitching these events shows a lack of creativity and news judgment. See “Fun Alternatives to Boring Ground-breakings, Check-passings and Ribbon-cuttings.”
Feel free to add to this list.