Five components of a newsworthy story

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseHere is a checklist you can use to determine if your story is newsworthy to the media.

Timing: The word news means exactly what it says: things that are new.  In this electronic age, people are used to receiving immediate news updates.  If it happened today, it’s news.  If the same thing happened last week, it’s no longer interesting.  Think ahead to upcoming actions, events, holiday or seasonal stories—and plan your media outreach in advance so reporters can get the story while it is still news.

Significance: The number of people affected by a story is important.  If a significant number of people in the community are affected by a problem, this will be considered newsworthy.

Proximity: The closer the story hits to home, the more newsworthy it is.

Prominence: Famous people get more coverage simply because they are famous.  But celebrities do not have to come from Hollywood—they can be local politicians, prominent business owners, hometown sports heroes, or key community leaders.

Human Interest: Human-interest stories appeal to the readers’ emotions.  Talking about the benefits of an issue through a first-person account is a good way to personalize what readers or viewers might otherwise think is merely a program that has no relevancy to their lives.

The bottom line is that you can find news in almost any event. Your responsibility is to ensure that your organization becomes known and respected by editors, journalists, educators, and other stakeholders with whom you are communicating. Remember, the more respected your organization is, the more and better coverage you are likely to receive. The determining factor in that judgment will be the audience—the readers, viewers, and listeners you reach.

Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, and Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.


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