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copywriting, digital copywriting, editing, research, storytelling, writing tips

Writing tips for non-writers – Secrets of Newsworthiness


Creating engaging, enticing and relevant content can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Well, I am going to share a little secret with you. You, too, can create newsworthy copy, that people want to read.

Those of us who trained in the art of writing were all given a cheat sheet; constantly there to remind us what is news. Let’s take a look at the seven pillars of newsworthiness and how you can make your digital copy newsworthy too.

Even when you are creating marketing material for your clients and potential clients, these pillars will ensure your content is on point.

Timeliness – When did it happen?

In a generation of instant gratification; we want what we want and we want it now! When you create your content, bear this in mind at all times.

Is there a NEW campaign? A NEW product? A NEW Service? Is there a way you can make it NEW? If you publish new content on a regular basis you can guarantee that you always have timely news to offer your readers.

Proximity – Where did it happen?

People are generally interested in news that is local. People are often emotionally absorbed by events that are close to them. The tragedy in their local town is a greater tragedy; the local celebration is all the more exciting.

How can you make your content ‘local’? Focus and direct your material to localized groups. Change your content to appeal to each group at a personal level.

One of the many extraordinary things about living in the digital age is that proximity is constantly evolving. As our connection with the rest of the world is consistently strengthened, so too is our ability to reach a wider ‘local’ audience.

By personalising your content to meet the needs or interests of your intended audience your news is in closer proximity to them.

Rarity – How unique is it?

This is a particularly significant point when dealing with digital content. The web is absolutely saturated with content marketing, brand news and ‘exciting new offerings’. The only way to stand out is to find a way to make your content unique.

Why is your product different from the next? What makes you or your service special? Exclusivity is terribly appealing to people, they want to know that they’ve got something that other people don’t.

Prominence – Who’s involved with it?

So many of us are seduced by fame. Whether it is the latest celebrity endorsing the latest product or an industry authority promoting a theoretical approach, others influence us.

Gaining respect in your field is a very important part of adding validity to your work. People want to hear from industry trailblazers who are taking risks and know what’s going on. Join the conversation. Follow the right people. Align your service or product with someone or something that already has the name, respect and prominence.

Impact – How does it affect me, and others I respect?

News is interesting because it changes something. Perhaps it changes the environmental landscape, or the financial landscape or even the entertainment landscape. Someone or something is always affected.

Before creating your content, think about how your content will impact your customers, your industry or the world. Each piece of content you publish should illustrate this change. If it does not – you really need to question whether the material has the desired impact.

Novelty – Why is it interesting?

You can make any piece of writing just a little more engaging by linking it back to something extraordinary. Maybe there’s a holiday coming up, like Black Friday or Christmas, or even an event that is unique to your company. Coming up with a unique approach is key to great news and great marketing.

If you’re trying to push your brand or service, think about how you can link your material to something cool, random or relevant.

Human Interest – How do I feel about it?

Turn your marketing material into a story about people. Not for profit organisations are notoriously good at creating emotive and heart wrenching stories to entice their donors.

Why not take a page out of their book? Tell a story; how did your product or service help Jo Next Door to realize her dream. Pull on the heartstrings and give your audience some human interest.

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