News is similar to photography in the same sense that you can
achieve some great results based on your original angle,
vantage point or your
Here are a few simple tips to help you brainstorm for
your own new, fresh, original angles for news:
1. Consider approaching your news story from a reverse
approach to what others are doing.
This reminds me of a photo I recently saw taken by a
photographer grabbing a photo of the winner of a thirteen
million dollar lottery ticket. The photo was snapped, by a
smart photographer from
behind the winner who was posing in front of a bunch of
other photographers holding an inflated replica of the 13 million
dollar lottery prize check. Most of the photographers were
all huddled together all taking exactly the same posed photo
of the man holding the big check.
But the smart photographer was taking the photo from the rear of the winner and in his
foreground, stood the little boy (the son of the winner) who
was holding the REAL check for $13,000,000 dollars. If the
smart photographer had not of thought of this original angle, he
would have ended up standing with the rest of the
photographers and grabbing the very same photo as everyone
else. As a result, it was the smart photographer's photo
that was published on the front page.
It is no different when you are working up your new story
angles. You always want to consider a different approach
than what someone else is doing. You want your story to
stand out amongst the rest. Many times, it is just a case of
remembering this simple tip that will give you an advantage.
So many times we get so wrapped up in what our competitor is
doing, we seem to forget the power and impact of taking a reverse
or opposite approach. Learn how to tell your average story
from a different and more interesting perspective than
everyone else and your stories will stand out to the eyes of
editors and publishers.
2. Consider building your news story over several
installments or over a period of time instead of all at once.
Working with creating several press releases over a
period of time can sometimes pack much more punch that
telling the story all in one release. The idea here is to
literally report on an event or happening with several
stories over time as opposed to writing one story
afterwards. Remember that just by its nature, news is very fresh and
constantly changing. It tends to produce traffic spikes of
exposure, so there could be huge potential in following a
story with a new release each and every day reporting on the
3: Watch for ways to expand on your story and make it
appeal to a much larger audience.
One of the examples I like to give students from
personal experience, was when I was writing my original
story about an early promotion I was doing for a community
based Web site. The original story explained how
the Main Street
shops were once the hub of the city. In the early days, before the huge
shopping malls, most stores and offices operated from a
location on Main Street. Even the Mayor and Town counsel operated from their Town
Office on Main Street.
Nowadays, the shops and stores on Main Street lose business to the big
super malls. Will these business owners be forced to close or go out of business
because they can't compete with the Malls. After all, everyone flocks to
the malls to shop. The purpose of the community Web site I
had developed at the time, was to use
the Internet as a way to help the small businesses compete
against the big ones.
Now in this example, the
story had some human interest and was perhaps enough
to create a newsworthy story for a small town paper, but it was not a
enough story" to grab any major exposure. So what was the angle or
solution to make the story relate to more people?
it was just realizing that the issue had a much higher
interest capacity than just my own town. There was the angle
starring me right in the face. All we had to do to get much wider appeal and much wider exposure was to mildly
re-write the story, to explain that this dilemma was NOT just about
one little town or city, but actually this scenario is being played out in every small town across
How well did the press release do? It was picked up and
published along with my photo in a nice full feature story
in the small business congress section of a major Toronto
Tip: Always take some time to review your news story "angle" to
see if you can get a much wider appeal.
Watch for little ways to vary your approach to something common.
Even something as common as an interview could be stepped up
for higher impact. Suppose you were to line up a news
story around an interesting interview with a well known
What would happen if you attached a
media clip of the actual interview to the press release.
Perhaps only include a portion of the interview so that the
listener could choose to download and listen in to.
4. Don't forget to tie your news into your Blog sometimes
Nothing is more suited to news and updates on news stories
than bringing people to your Blog where the readers can
respond. Blogging works great with
updates that are posted frequently. Blogging on a recent big
event with lots of fresh posts that ideally have the blog
located on your own Web site. Let your readers
participate with their comments or feedback. Also see Robin
Nobles article on Blogs
with a Purpose.
5. How does the information you have posted on your Web
site (above the fold) relate to your news story?
Is there anything you could add to your home page that
relates to current news? You may want to add something in
(above the fold) since your press release through PRweb.com
actually displays your Web page in a frame within the press
Don't forget to send your press releases out through
traditional methods too.
One of the biggest challenges I see with new students is
that they are often somewhat prejudice against their own
work. They overlook sending our their news stories every
where they should. What about building yourself a list of
news and media outlets that you can use over and over again?
Don't forget radio stations and even the other smaller newspapers
as well as the bigger ones. You never know who will publish
your stories so create as wide a distribution channel as you
As a crafter of news stories, research all of the markets
where you could make a difference.
Try using Wordtracker's short term Top 1000 report which
will sometimes reflect trends that are occurring within the
last 24 hours. Also remember to watch for higher volume
keywords that relate to your story. You want keywords that
accurately reflect what your topic is about but you also
want terms with higher popularity. Try using Wordtracker's newest
keyword research tool in the members area.
Try focusing on creating your story ideas first.
If you are having difficulty getting started, try coming up
with a list of Titles for stories first. Once you begin
getting on a roll brainstorming for the right topics, it'll
be easier to write the story itself. Remember that sometimes
your best stories will only really be born as you begin the
writing process and create them. By focusing on Titles first and
brainstorming for related keywords you will expand your idea
list much more quickly than just writing story at a time.
If you are working on news story ideas for your own business
- keep yourself apprised of larger real world news stories
and events that may be developing within your related
If for instance there is a breaking news happening within
your industry, you need to always watch for opportunities to
tie into bigger stories. How do other industry related
stories affect your business? Certain conditions that result
from events that are happening within your industry news,
could very well apply to help along a current story that you
might already be working on, but you need to be aware of
what's happening. Do you subscribe to any news wire
10. Develop each story
to it's maximum potential and allow yourself at least 24
hours of review time when possible.
I try to prepare any press releases at least 48 hours ahead
of time, whenever possible. By crafting your news story over
24 to 48 hours you'll often come up with more original
approaches as well as produce a higher quality story. Of
course, by the very nature of news, there will be some cases
where you may need to release news the same day. But
whenever possible, try and plan a release date ahead of time
to ensure you allow yourself time to review your work and
make it as best of a story that it can be.
For Part 1 of this series, please see:
to position your Web site for a Media Blitz - Part 1
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