Here’s the first in what might well be a series of blogs trying to answer questions we get asked about what we do and how we create brilliant newsgen content. Read on to pick up some tips, work out how to use the best stats and develop the best newsgen projects you can.
Why should we do a news survey?
It’s a great way to get a brand into the news pages of the national media. Open any paper and look at websites and you will find survey stories on there. As part of your wider PR campaign, newsgen creates spikes of coverage that are springboards for your other activity. They increase brand awareness, lead people to your website, and drive business growth and sales.
Can you sell in our PR release?
No, because newspapers don’t run press releases. But we can develop newsgen content for you and write up as news copy, which we will then send out to the media. But the copy cannot be seen to be plugging the brand, as that moves it away from an editorial remit into an advertorial one.
Can we create a story out of five questions?
You can create a headline. But if you want any depth, we always advise going for more. Fifteen questions will give you a longer story about the length of a page-lead. And the longer the story, the more likely they are to include a quote from your spokesperson and brand details. We write all our releases to page lead length, so we can get the biggest pieces possible, not just nibs.
Aren’t there too many stats in this release?
Extremely unlikely. If you’re hooked into a story about a topic which has facts, then the more facts and numbers the better. You’re more likely to read on, particularly if they’re interesting and surprising. And if they’re not interesting or surprising, then they shouldn’t be included.
Is the story a bit too negative?
No. Brands should not be scared of a negative story, particularly if they’re the solution to the problem. A simplistic example: “99 percent of Brits don’t like getting rained on” is a fine story for an umbrella company. Even if not, the fact that a story is negative doesn’t necessarily impact on the brand it is associated with.
Can we put the brand higher up?
Yes, but not too high up. Remember these are stories first, not adverts. Journalists who are sent something which is obviously branded will simply ignore it. There’s got to be an interesting narrative set up before you start banging on about the brand or it’s just not a story.