Chapter 4 notes – On The Hunt For News

For those of you that don’t have an over abundance of free time in your life, I have taken the liberty to four tips from each chapter from Dennis  Wilcox’s book, Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Chapter 4

This was a question I had always asked myself when I was a kid, ” What makes a story newsworthy?”  Ok, maybe I didn’t sound that educated when I asked the question, however, I did wonder what made a story end up on CNN and another end up in the local newspaper on page five in a tiny paragraph.

Well, thanks to this chapter and a dash of maturity, I have found some very reasonable answers to this question.

1.Timeliness.  Every feature story is time sensitive.  A story will be rendered useless if it is out of it time frame.  For example, if apple were to announce they were going bankrupt and you were to run the story a year later, no one would care, it would be labeled as “old news” and no body wants that.

2.Promixmity.  This one is huge.  No one wants to hear the the local mom and pop shop is closing down, three states over.  If the news doesn’t pertain to my region, then I really could care less.  I know that sounds harsh but lets be honest with ourselves.  The feature but be relevant to the surrounding area, plain and simple.

3.Unusualness.  This one is pretty self explanatory, if the story is about a lemonade stand started by an 11 year old boy had a grossed income of $500,000 last year, then that would be a killer story.

4. Conflict. For some reason  people love drama and conflict.  Therefor, naturally anything feature story which consists of drama or conflict will be a huge hit.


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