1. Context in the trending news environment

hashtag trendingBefore pitching a reporter about the merits of your product, story, or crowdfunding campaign, ask yourself, how does this story fit into the current news environment?

Certain trending stories naturally permeate the news based on the time of the year like Christmas, Valentines, Summer, and well-known events like the Oscars. Other stories rise up and become a hot new topic for that particular year. Examples of hot topics include drones, 3d printing, the Ferguson protest, viral videos, etc.

Although news publications will naturally seek out newsworthy content and unique stores, they must also cover stories that are happening across the entire news media, whether they want to write about them or not. They may not be the one to break a story, but if the story is big enough, they have to write about it.

When you can anchor or peg your PR story to a trending topic, event, or overall breaking news story, it will be easier to convince journalists to pitch that story to their editor and ultimately write about it!

For example, if there was a huge data breach, like that which Sony witnessed, you can bet that journalists are going to be talking about ways to secure your own data or the data of your company. They might be asking questions like “How safe is personal digital content really?”

This is a great opportunity to pitch your product if it’s a security solution!

It’s easier to tailor your pitch to fit into an existing news trend than to convince a journalist to write about a foreign topic or an unproven product.

2. Including archetypical facts of a story

Have you ever noticed that in action movies, there is always a superhero who is working against all odds to defeat a villain? They may have to overcome external obstacles or internal difficulties to rise to the challenge and defeat their ultimate foe.

It’s likely that the protagonist superhero also has a lover, or a woman he loves, and a best friend who is his or her wingman. Seem familiar?

Many movies follow common story lines and include archetypical characters that have been modified a bit to make the conflicts in the movie interesting. Obviously, this format will vary with the genre of the movie, but as standard practice in the industry, at the 30 minute mark, there is some kind of inciting incident or event which will propel the rest of the story.

This same kind of “formulaic” storytelling is also present in the news media. Whether it’s a story about an entrepreneur overcoming odds and pursuing the American dream, being able to achieve something that most people dream of, like build a company while raising a family, or having to go through enormous and odds that lead to interesting founding stories, the news media loves human interest stories.

A human interest story is a fancy way to say a news story that touches hearts, inspires readers, or has some kind of emotional affect. By including a human interest element to your PR story, not only will you increase the change that a journalist will take a deeper look into what it is you are pitching, but it will also be great marketing material!

The more people that know and understand the values of your company, the better it is for your business. You must create trust and genuine connections before you can successfully sell to a potential customer, or in this case, get them excited about pleding to a crowdfunding project

3. Give the journalist a genuine scoop.

A scoop, is another journalist term for an exclusive news story. Basically, part of a journalist’s job is to discover new facts, trends, or news and report that to the public.

By including compelling data, statistics, and noteworthy results in your PR story, you will be more likely to get a reporter excited about publishing your findings and the new product or crowdfunding campaign that you are trying to get them to write about.

It’s very difficult to get someone to trust a new company or product in an established industry. However, if the story of founding that company is in some way backed up by data or indicates a change in consumption habits on the parts of businesses or consumers, that makes a very juicy story! That’s something that people who are in business will want to read about.

Remember, a news publication is not in the business of writing content that they want to write about. They are in the business of writing content that the public wants to read, which will increase their advertising revenue over time.

The public naturally wants to learn about big news events, trending stories, and will take time to read a compelling human interest story. The ultimate question that crafting a successful PR story comes down to is… how will you make the public want to read your story?


These are a few elements of a successful PR story. We’ve covered more in the past here. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment on this article letting us know!

  • Gina Frost

    As PR officer for Manchester Shakpespeare Company I find networking and connecting with the right people very helpful with any projects I develop.

  • Gina Frost

    Is there one thing you believe is vital to successful public relations?

  • Κορίνα Λυμνιούδη

    I couldnt agree more…the human factor the emmotional factor should always be there…Some people are too shy to tell their stories…and maybe they lose big time bc of that…This can be explained also from how the human nature is and how the universe works…If you share your story and your emotions with someone then of course is going to work…because LOVE is what makes world goes on…the connection of the hearts, i think this is what this article actually teaches us.

    Thanks Sal

    Korina Lymnioudi