As public relations professionals, we always act in the best interest of our clients. This includes being tasked with breaking the unfortunate news that the latest announcement may not actually be press release worthy.   

Distributing a press release doesn’t guarantee coverage, but to cut through the noise to grab a reporter’s attention, the content you’re sending them must be newsworthy. So how do you know if it is?  

At Franco, when working with a client, we answer this by first asking a few questions:

  • Is the news timely?
  • Is the topic unique?
  • Is this the first time the public has heard about this news?
  • Is it groundbreaking and will it shake up or positively impact the market?
  • Is the news part of a bigger story, or does it deliver previously unknown information?
  • Is it part of a bigger trend, or does it apply to a wave of breaking news coverage?
  • Does it offer a new perspective or approach to thinking about existing information?
  • Is the information relevant to the region or market it’s being placed in?
  • Does the product or solution apply to the broader North American market?

Not every box needs to be checked for a topic to be determined release-worthy, but PR pros should always use their best judgment when deciding whether a topic is fitting for a formal press release. 

If it’s decided a press release isn’t the way to go, it doesn’t mean the topic is dead in the water – in fact, it means a little more needed creativity is at hand to earn notice.   

Dan Horn, an integrated communications director at Franco who helped create our press release checklist, shared that when working with content that isn’t quite right for a formal release, you should turn your focus to the PESO Model, which stands for paid, earned, shared and owned content:  

“Leveraging the PESO Model, I would focus on the aspects aside from earned the paid, owned and shared side. This is generally where we suggest clients start by creating owned content, like a blog post that can live on their website. This type of content can then be used in a newsletter, leveraged for a series of social media posts or even turned into a LinkedIn article. If you want the campaign to have broader reach, you can also put some dollars behind a paid campaign.” 

Clients can consider a paid advertisement approach or invest in visual mediums like graphics or even a short video on their product or company update. Targeted pitching is another avenue to turn to, with coverage being generated through tailored outreach specific to a relevant media source.  

There’s no argument that the press release still plays a vital role in media relations strategy, but it’s not the only factor that matters in today’s increasingly digital world. Integrated communications and the PESO Model offer options that can elevate coverage above and beyond the traditional approach.  

Want more on this topic and integrated communications? Take full advantage of the resources available on the Franco blog 

John Bozick is an Integrated Communications Specialist at Franco. Connect with him on LinkedIn