Developing Your News Sense.

developing your news sense
As a PR professional you must transform yourself into a researcher, investigative journalist, editor and fact checker. By developing these skills you will be able to improve your writing to benefit your strategic communications, as well as develop new creative strategies and angles for your press releases.

Your company should create rich, fact filled content that will function as a strong foundation for all communication tactics. The strong position you create can be integrated into your public relations, social media, website content and all forms of strategic communication.

When developing content ask yourself these two vital questions: “So what?” and “Who cares?” These questions will guide you in deciding what is truly newsworthy and what is relevant to the audience you are trying to reach.

To help you understand these questions, start reading newspapers and online news sites. Although this is time consuming, it will help you recognize what is considered news and give you creative ideas for your content. As you read through different stories, begin noting what makes the story interesting and important.

Do not stop with just newspapers though. Subscribe to news feeds from your favorite publications and scan Twitter for current tweets about topics that relate to your business or topics for which you can be considered a subject expert. Tweets can also provide links to stories that can be relevant resources for you or your client.

When using news to help develop interesting content, remember that news stories have a specific structure. Are you trying to reach local, regional, or national news? Knowing who you want to reach will help you concentrate on researching publications that are relevant to you.

Once you know this you will be able to identify headlines, stories and TV teasers that you can analyze to see why you were drawn to them. Make a list of important facts, patterns and points made in each story to help you develop content that will help tell your company’s story or your client’s story in a new and eye-catching way.

After you have used media to help you research and analyze what makes stories standout, it’s time to be creative. Write your story or press release to communicate your message clearly and concisely. Try to write in a voice that will make your reader comfortable. Do not include business jargon that many people will not understand. Instead, try to humanize the company so people are able to relate to it and its employees. Use facts as your foundation and use reputable outside sources that will help support your message. Be sure to create a headline that will catch the attention of your audience, while communicating your message clearly.

Finally, take an objective look at your work. Does it communicate what you want it to? Does it present your content in the best way? Is it truly newsworthy? By answering these questions you will be able to look at your story or press release, analyze it, and focus your efforts to create better content.