Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Brass Tack #1 - Give them a story, not a plug.

Journalists don’t like to feel their purpose in life is to give you free advertising. They produce news and news needs to inform the world of something new, exciting, different, surprising, meaningful and relevant to its readers, viewers and listeners.

Therefore, the information you give them must have news value.‘We’re opening a holiday caravan park’ is a plug. ‘We’re challenging Jeremy Clarkson to spend a weekend in one of our caravans’ is news. (And Jeremy Clarkson accepting the challenge would be headline news!)

Much has been written by journalists and academics on the topic of news value. Many have tried to analyse it. Others say that it can’t be defined but you know it when you see it. Here’s a very basic, bottom-line definition. If you want people to know about it, it’s probably a plug. But if people find it interesting, it’s got news value.

Filed under:
media relations     news values     journalists

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