Have you ever wondered why the story that seems important to you doesn’t get covered? We have many clients that want us to get coverage for their announcements. While they may be important to the company, not everything important is considered news. There are characteristics the media requires if they’re going to share your story. We’re sharing eight traits the media considers newsworthy. If your story has one or more of these traits, you’ll have a better chance of coverage.

Timely and Trending

What is happening politically, socially, economically. What’s popular or new? How is your organization or expertise related to current events? There are many avenues to take here, but this trait is why we call things “news.” If you can tie your announcement or media pitch to a trend and do so in a timely way, you’ll have a better chance of seeing your story in the news. And we can’t stress enough that timeliness is key. When reaching out to media to share your knowledge on a trend, usually the first relevant person to reach the reporter gets the story. 

For example, a company that helps homeowners landscape to avoid wildfires hears about a residential wildfire burning right now. Their PR team can offer an expert spokesperson to share tips other homeowners can take to protect their homes. Trends change on a whim and yesterday’s hot topic is stale and old today. The faster you reach out the better your odds of being interviewed or having your product or service covered.


Is your story interesting to a specific location, region, country or the whole world? This one is pretty easy to determine. Think about pro football. During the regular season, it’s rare to hear about teams outside your area or even see games outside your area without paid services. Once the playoffs start, teams are covered nationally, and the Super Bowl gets covered across the US and sometimes in other parts of the world. Journalists want stories that interest most of their audience, so local news rarely makes national headlines unless it has one of the other traits.


If you can tie your story to a Hollywood star, super athlete, or business tycoon, you’ll probably see some traction. But celebrity doesn’t just mean famous people. Celebrity can also be well-known, well-loved or even controversial brands people recognize. It can be a powerful company or a government agency. If you partner with the powerful and recognizable, tell the world. You might want to check with their legal department before you send the pitch and stay in their good graces.

Celebrity, like news, is local, regional, national and worldwide. A well know local chef, large regional business or community collage could count as a celebrity depending on the outlet you hope to secure for your story. 


The media loves a controversy, a scandal, a disagreement, or when something goes horribly wrong. In these instances, it’s important to tread carefully and take the high road if it involves you, your client, or your organization, but there are usually coverage opportunities in the carnage. 

Solving a problem or admitting a wrong-doing and sharing how you’re changing can be some positive spins on controversy. Sharing some unbelievable (but true) new statistics that might be controversial can be a great way to get covered too.


Does your story have an effect on the journalist’s audience? If you can share something valuable, interesting, surprising, concerning or useful to the target audience the journalist reaches, they may be interested in sharing. 

Journalists are always thinking about their audience and they want to keep them informed and engaged. If you can demonstrate how your story impacts them, you’ve got a great angle for a pitch.

Human Interest

Do you have a hero’s journey story, rags to riches, success against all odds, or maybe something that just tugs at the heart? This story about YouTuber David Aguilar who had created a LEGO prosthesis for his missing forearm is a great example. David used his experience to help a little boy without arms by building an arm for him. It received tons of coverage and tugged at hearts worldwide. 


If it’s weird, an oddity, stranger than fiction, it might be worth sharing. Your story doesn’t have to be as bizarre as Octomom. The Today show recently covered NASA’s initiative to research UFOs and 60 Minutes shared a story on women over 60 giving birth for the first time. 

And you can do this locally too. A donation from a carousel ride to a charity had been covered in previous years. We knew we had to add one of the traits to attract the local news. We decided to try dressing up a horse like a carousel pony and having the horse at the check presentation. It worked even though Tony the Pony, who behaved beautifully until the cameras were turned on, decided he didn’t want to be in the video. We received local coverage on all the main news stations.

Rare or Novel

If you can share a first, or something that rarely happens, you may have a great story. Think about when athletes break records, technology takes a leap, IKEA builds its first store in your region… Or when nature does something rare, like the corpse flower that only blooms every 8 – 10 years. It makes local news for botanic gardens whenever it happens. So if something is novel or rare, by all means, get your message to the media – you’ll likely get your story covered.

Ready to Make News?

Ask honestly if your story has at least one of these eight traits. If you can answer yes, you have a better chance at catching the interest of journalists. And if your story doesn’t fit with any of these traits, see what you can add to make it more appealing to journalists. And remember, good PR takes time. It’s about building relationships. The more subtle the trait is in your story, the more important it is to have great relationships with media that can move the needle for you. 

Sometimes it helps to have professionals work with you to make sure your story is newsworthy. If you need some help generating media worthy stories for your target audience, reach out to us at Uptake@Uprightcomms.com. We’d love to explore how we can work together to build media relationships and get your stories in the spotlight.