What is News?

Aimee Yoon

Aimee Yoon

With her strategic thinking and keen media savvy, Aimee is a media relations guru and knows how to craft the angles reporters really want. Prior to co-founding Dotted Line Communications, Aimee sharpened her skills at InterActive Public Relations, a division of Porter Novelli International, Miller […]

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What is News?

One of the harder parts of working in PR is educating clients and managing their expectations around the PR process.

We believe the number one reason PR firms get a bad rap is because they do not set realistic expectations with their clients on the kinds of news events or trend angles that can drive media coverage, as well as the ones that – quite frankly – probably won’t. Here at DLC we are of the mindset that it is best to under promise and over deliver but we want our clients to understand how the media works, what is of interest to them and what is realistic when it comes to working with the press.

To help with the education process, we put together a cheat sheet that outlines general company news or events we believe can drive media coverage.

Of course in PR nothing is a guarantee or a slam-dunk, as we ultimately are not the ones putting pen to paper, but these types of storylines have led to success here at DLC.

Tips to help drive business/technology stories:

Be clear on why your story is timely. Important to know that reporters want news, although interesting trends, or a POV on something timely, will generally fly if it is high level enough (e.g., we recently saw some instances of companies having a good POV around the Apple back door debate). An interesting perspective can translate to coverage but always look for a news hook to tie it to and make it timely.

Choose your spokesperson wisely. Reporters want dynamic interview subjects that can talk far beyond just their own business.


Considerations around news include things like:

Breakthrough products/updates — this has to go far beyond an “inside baseball” feature and be something that plays to the masses. Our client Dashlane just released a new product earlier this year, which resulted in coverage because the product is in a space of interest to consumers and the media and the product changes were significant enough to warrant press coverage. (Here is a sample story from The Next Web)

Funding – while this is always a news event for a company, caliber of coverage can be dependent on a number of factors, including amount, high profile investors and growth in the space overall

Major new hires (new CEO or other C-level hires); folks coming from *very* well known companies in a high level role are likely to drive interest but look for additional angles around why this hire is important for the company right now and what it means for where their business is headed

Growth #s, revenue #s or anything that shows how a company is outpacing or outperforming in the space – we recently pitched a new hire announcement and leveraged growth info to secure a story in Forbes for our client Feedzai

Data that plays into a bigger trend – what internal data are you housing? Can it be sliced and diced to show interesting insights? Can we pull together a quarterly report based on data for your space? Dictionary.com leveraged data to reveal their word of the year which generated widespread media coverage, including this Mashable piece

Competitive commentary or commentary on a breaking news event, for example, providing thoughts on a retail breach, or top words used by presidential candidates in debates like we did for Dictionary.com, or perhaps commentary on new credit card chip technology like we did here for Feedzai

Hopefully this will help any companies out there interested in learning more about the PR process and the types of inflection points to leverage to generate media coverage!