Five Ways to Create News

Want to make news? Consider these five forms of news. This blog offers inspiration to get started with PR and to claim your thought leadership position.

| Presscloud editorial

Creating News Yourself

Let's do a short recap. Companies choose to develop thought leadership content because it:

The only question is: how do you create news? Below you'll find five forms of news. Hopefully, this inspires content creators, marketers, and entrepreneurs to get started with PR.

1: Hard News

‘Hard news’ is a proven means of making news. This type of content has a significant advantage: journalists rarely doubt facts. Hard news is also a good way to become an authority. It differs from other forms of news because it cannot be refuted. Examples of hard news are: annual figures, the announcement of new clients, or expansions abroad.

Innovation in Motion, a startup that wants to make moving parts in homes ‘smart,’ was for example named Startup of the Week by Sprout. How did they achieve that? By talking about their international success. Also consider things that cannot be doubted, such as:

  • 'Dutch recruitment company opens office in New York'
  • 'KNVB partners with a staffing agency from Zeist'
  • 'The Limburg pie industry is showing growth again'

2: A PR Study

A tried and tested method for creating news is to conduct a survey among your target audience or 'the average Dutch person'. By carrying out (or commissioning) surveys, a continuous stream of news can be created. This allows organizations to work more systematically on their thought leadership position. Is every form of data newsworthy? No. Newsworthy data often taps into existing sentiment, identifies a societal development, or surprises us. The various forms of PR studies have advantages and disadvantages, which I will outline below:

A study among 1000 Dutch people

This type of research has the benefit of being relatively easy to carry out. There are many parties offering PR surveys among 1000 Dutch people. A survey 'about the opinion of the average Dutch person' tells us about a prevailing sentiment in society but not necessarily within a particular industry.

A PR study among a niche target group

This type of research is more difficult to conduct: for example, it's harder to survey IT professionals or young mothers. A study among a niche target group has the advantage of yielding specific knowledge. With this, you can create highly suitable content for trade journals.

Below you find an example of a study from the AD.

3: Soft News (Observations and Opinions)

Sometimes a particular view is so groundbreaking or inspiring that it also becomes newsworthy. We call this soft news. If you produce car tires and claim that tires need to be replaced more often, it is not credible (because: commercial interest). Soft news is only credible if you have no commercial interest in it. How do you go about this?

  • By sharing an opinion – with which you have no commercial interest. These views/opinions mainly require logical arguments; it doesn't have to be just data. Note: not every opinion or view is newsworthy.
  • If you manage to find a combination of a trend and a solution for a problem? Then you have a very complete message. See the article below in the Metro, where the trend (strange job titles) is linked to advice (make your company attractive to young people).

To create soft news, you could, for example, argue that the government's climate goals are not ambitious enough or that it's really time for a rejuvenation of boardrooms. Consider the following opinions, observations, or claims:

  • 'Strange job titles (sales ninja) are popular with young people'
  • 'It's time for pension fund boards to get younger to have more support'
  • 'Government must make the Netherlands attractive again for expats'

4: Reactive News (The Newsjacking)

By responding to developments in society, politics, or the news, you cleverly use the momentum. Essentially, you 'hijack the news' to 'steal' the spotlight yourself. Ingenious! There are at least three ways you can create reactive news:

  • Firstly, you could disagree with something or someone. Such polemics score in the media, because there is a contradiction that can be amplified;
  • You could call on the government to take action;
  • Naming, explaining, or cheering a certain development is also less exciting but can likewise generate media attention.

When it comes to reactive news, always ask yourself if your message is not too commercial. Below you'll find a successful example of newsjacking. Data center company Equinix explains why the Pokémon app is illustrative of the rise of AR. The company cleverly used a hype to bring a relatively complex product (cloud computing) into the limelight.

Other examples of reactive news are:

  • Surrounding Budget Day: 'ambitions of the cabinet are not ambitious enough for the pressing shortage in industry X or Y'
  • 'Trade union paints an unrealistic picture of labor market challenges'
  • 'Increase in VR apps shows: market is asking for IT professionals with more complex skills'
  • 'Brain drain in the province calls for investment in education throughout the country'

5: Practical Content

Another way to create news is by helping your target group with a particular problem. Practical messages, tip lists, and how-tos are relevant for media outlets. Can you follow a number of steps to achieve a certain goal? Then it makes sense to share that knowledge. Looking for inspiration? Also read my article on Frankwatching, where I share four tips for launching a startup with the help of PR. Or look at this message from Momice, which provides tips for PR events. This too ensured nice publicity in trade journals.

Consider furthermore:

  • 'Seven tips from employers to stand out in the job market'
  • 'How to achieve an inclusive hiring policy'
  • 'Funding? These nine conditions are what investors are looking for'

Conclusion

I sincerely hope that the above tips will help you find content opportunities in your organization. Are you currently looking for more support for PR in your company? Then read the blog about the tactic that ensures support for PR.

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