Advice: How do I know if something is newsworthy?

Is your news newsworthy?

There are hundreds of things that happen in your company that you might consider newsworthy, from new products, services, events, or even acquisitions. But, how do you know if something is actually newsworthy?

So, what makes a story worthy of a feature in the papers? The easiest way to think about this is, would you and your friends talk about it over a pint in the pub, in your own time?

While effective, this is quite simplistic, and very subjective.

So, here are a few other things to consider before contacting any journalists with your company news:

1. Timeliness 

Is the story relevant? Does it tie in with current events or trends? Stories that have a sense of urgency to current events are more likely to be considered newsworthy.

2. Impact

Does your company news have a wider impact on the community, industry, or society at large? Does it have the potential to affect people's lives or change the status quo? If you can recognise that your company news may change the trajectory of an event, or poses questions that add to important conversations means that your news is definitely newsworthy!  

3. Uniqueness: 

Can you craft a story around your company news that’s unique, or offers a different stance from what's currently out there? Does it offer a fresh perspective or angle? Stories that offer a unique perspective or angle are more likely to be considered newsworthy

4. Prominence 

Is the story about a well-known person, brand, or organisation? Or does it involve a significant event or announcement? Leveraging any brand partnerships, or using your company spokesperson is a great way to ensure more interest from news outlets. 

5. Human Interest

Does the story have a human angle or an emotional appeal that touches on a universal theme? Stories that have a human interest angle often attract a more engaged readership and therefore are more likely to appear newsworthy.

6. Target Audience

It's important to keep in mind that what is considered newsworthy will vary depending on the media outlet and the target audience. A story that may be newsworthy to one outlet may not be to another. It's also important to research the media outlet and understand their editorial focus and preferences, and understand their readership. For example, targeting The Sun for a piece about the investment you’ve secured would not be ideal. 

If you still think your story is newsworthy, try this… 

  • Can you capture it in a headline of 10-15 words? 
  • Can you explain why it’s newsworthy in one paragraph and back it up with evidence? 

If you can, there’s your pitch to the media. Now it’s time to start researching the most relevant media titles and journalists.

If you’d like to know who the traditional media are vs the new media or how to find relevant journalists to share company news with then check out our Startup School series.


How to keep your clients happy from a PR agency 

How to keep your clients happy from a PR agency 

Working with disruptive brands and entrepreneurs from across the globe, there’s a couple of things they all have one thing in common. Firstly is a passion for their business, and secondly a need for the people they work with to provide excellent service and tangible results. 

As an agency that works exclusively with these types of businesses, we like to think we specialise in both. In fact, ‘passionate’ is one of our core values. 

But on International Day of Happiness, what’s the key to keeping clients happy? We’ve set out our top tips for doing just that - whether you’re working in a PR agency or with clients in any other industry. 

In short, you should do the following:

  • Set clear expectations
  • Communicate regularly
  • Be proactive
  • Be flexible
  • Provide value
  • Build relationships
  • Be transparent
  • Continuously learn and evolve

Set Clear Expectations

Before starting any project, it's important to set clear expectations. Be transparent about what you can and cannot deliver, and establish realistic timelines and goals. This will help avoid misunderstandings and ensure that your clients are happy with the results you’re all working towards.

Communicate Regularly

Regular communication is a big part of this, even if it might seem like an obvious one but during the height of a campaign or busy project, it can get forgotten - especially if there are multiple stakeholders. Agree a channel that works best for them - whether it’s Slack, WhatsApp or email - and share as often as is relevant. And don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, sometimes sentiment can get lost in translation when it’s written down. For more thorough updates and overviews, agree on a regular cadence and stick to it - whether it’s reports or calls. 

Be Proactive

Don't wait for your clients to come to you with questions or concerns. Be proactive and anticipate their needs. Offer suggestions and solutions to problems before they become issues, and provide regular updates on industry trends and news that may be relevant to their business, or impact any future plans. 

Be Flexible

To succeed and grow with clients, you’ll have to be willing to adapt to your client's changing needs and priorities. As a PR agency, you may need to pivot your strategy or approach as their business evolves. Be open to feedback and willing to make changes to ensure their satisfaction.

Provide Value

Your clients are investing in your services and your time, so ensure these meet their needs and provide measurable results that can be reported back internally. Use partner agencies to offer additional services or resources that may be relevant to their business and help them meet shared objectives. 

Build Relationships

Take the time to get to know them as people, not just clients, and understand their business goals and internal challenges. Where you can, offer support and guidance beyond your specific services, and celebrate their successes along the way.

Be Transparent

Transparency is key to building trust with your clients. It’s often easier to be honest about any challenges or setbacks though we would always suggest finding solutions and presenting these to your client. 

Seek Feedback

Feedback is essential for improving your services, so seek it out and be willing to make changes based on their input. Use this to improve your services and build stronger relationships with your clients. At Words + Pixels we run an annual client survey, asking our clients the hard questions because we know it will make us all better. Thankfully, our results were pretty high with a 98% in client communication, and 94% in strategic guidance. 

Continuously Learn and Evolve

Every industry is constantly evolving, and it's important to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Continuously evolve your services to meet the changing needs of your clients and consider attending industry events, reading industry publications, and investing in ongoing training and development for your team. 

Keeping your clients happy as a PR agency

Keeping clients happy is essential for the success of any PR agency and client relationship, particularly when working with startup founders and entrepreneurs. 

But a collaborative attitude to working, with transparent communication and a positive approach to seeking out and adapting to feedback will ensure happy clients and happy teams, with deep partnerships based on trust, and value.

If you're looking for more tips from a PR agency, why don't you read how to measure the impact of PR, or understand how PR can help with fundraising and investment.


Advice: How to identify your target audience in PR in 4 simple steps

As a startup, one of the most critical factors for success is identifying your target audience. Without knowing who your potential customers are, there could be a lot of wasted effort in your marketing and PR activity. 

Knowing who you’re targeting will also help you work out how best to reach them, forming the foundation of any successful PR and marketing strategy. 

In this article, we'll outline four simple steps to help you identify your audience and start speaking to them through PR.

Step 1: Conduct Market Research

Market research involves collecting and analysing data about your potential customers to understand their demographics, interests, and behaviours.

There are many ways to conduct market research, including online surveys, focus groups, and social media listening tools. These tools can help you gather information about your target audience, such as their age, gender, income, education level, hobbies, and interests.

If your business sells organic dog food, you might find that your target audience is primarily made up of young adults between the ages of 25-35, families and perhaps older adults. Knowing these demographics can help you tailor your PR messaging and distribution to effectively reach this group.

Step 2: Understand Your Product or Service

With a clear idea of who you’re selling to, you should identify your unique selling point (USP), and the problem it solves for your customers. This step is crucial because it will help you understand how best to sell it, and the core reason people are buying your product. 

In the example of our organic dog food business. Of course, your target audience will likely be pet owners - likely young couples, families with children, and older adults - but the organic USP would suggest they’re also conscious about their dog's health and well-being, and probably their own. 

Step 3: Use SEO to define your audience 

As part of your market research, an SEO analysis could help you understand what your audience is actually searching for. 

A simple way to do this is through Google search. As you type, suggested search terms will appear offering a really valuable indication of what others are searching for.  

For example, if you begin typing ‘best dog food’, Google may suggest similar search terms, like ‘best organic dog food’ or ‘best healthy food for dogs’. 

Another way to use SEO to help define your target PR audience is through Google’s ‘People also ask’ function. Take a look below to see the other search terms.

Step 4: Analyse Your Competitors 

A critical step in understanding your target audience is through your competitors. By looking at their marketing strategies, you can gain insights into who their audience is and what communication methods they're using.

Start by researching other brands’ websites, social media pages, and press releases. Look at the language they use, the content they share, and the audience they're reaching. This analysis can help you identify gaps in your own market and PR messaging while differentiating your brand from competitors.

It’s important to remember however that just because a brand in your industry is using a specific strategy or tactic to reach an audience, doesn’t mean it’s working. 

Identifying your target audience is critical for startups

Understanding your audience is the starting point for all marketing activity, including PR. 

These four steps should help you gain insights into your potential customers, what they're interested in, and how to communicate with them. This knowledge will help you tailor PR to effectively reach your target audience and differentiate your brand from your competitors.

If you found this blog helpful, then check out our YouTube channel which answers questions like, 'How do you reach out to a journalist?' or 'How to write an effective press release'.

If you'd like to see some of our work, then go to our work page to see everything from the World's First Helmet Hair Salon to watching the World's Fastest Speedcubers compete!


Advice: How to measure the impact of your PR

How to measure PR 

We get it, C-suite management are asking for how many sales have increased since investing in PR, and now you need something tangible to show them. 

Firstly, let’s address the fact. PR can (and often does) drive sales, but this shouldn’t be the main reason you engage an agency. Why? Because PR won’t drive immediate sales, and you can’t track sales in the same way as other marketing initiatives. 

PR is also much more powerful when it is considered a reputational tool that boosts brand awareness and credibility. 

This may all sound a little vague, so how do you measure PR?

Before you measure PR impact 

There’s no point measuring PR if you don’t have an objective to measure it against. We suggest that you think about your overarching business goals, and consider how comms can help you meet these.This will inform the metrics you’ll require to do just that. 

The focus of PR is top of the funnel marketing

PR broadly sits at the top of the marketing funnel. This means it is primarily based on building brand awareness, educating consumers and acting as an introduction to the business. 

Consumers, at this stage, are scoping out the market. This might be their first interaction with the brand, or their 100th. Either way, if you’re a new product, customers are likely to do a bit of their own research into you and your competitors. How do they do this? Well, they Google it of course. 

Often, your prospective consumers will engage with your brand across lots of different touch points across your digital and traditional marketing, before finally converting and buying into the brand.   

Tracking your PR success falls into two main categories

  1. Output 

So, your PR agency has pitched a story, secured the opp and a piece about your business has been published. Congratulations! 

You might have been placed in a national newspaper, such as The Times, or be featured in a more specific industry-based publication. 

This in itself is a great result (assuming the piece is positive) and there are many metrics you can measure to highlight it, such as: 

  • Audience - The type of publication you featured in (have you targeted a specific audience in a niche industry magazine, or have you gained widespread awareness on national morning television)
  • Readership - how many people could potentially see this piece based on the circulation of the magazine/newspaper or monthly users of the site 
  • Key messages - How many of the things you wanted to say were included within the piece, and did it include a call to action e.g. a link to your website  
  • Share of voice - Are you getting more coverage than your competitors 
  1. Impact of the coverage 

So, you got some coverage, it reaches your audience and included all your key messages. Now what? Well, it’s time to think about the impact. 

This is probably something you’ll measure over time to show ROI and measurable business metrics, such as:

  • Engagement - The number of conversations your coverage drives - this could be in the form of sharing the piece on social media, or comments on an article 
  • Traffic - if a link is included, did it drive traffic? If so, how much did it drive over time. 
  • Inbound requests - as you start to position yourself as a thought leader in the media, measure how many people approach you for other requests like speaking opportunities or commentary 

Action - How many people acted on your call to action (if included) e.g. downloaded the app, attended your event

So, now you’re equipped to tell your bosses how successful your PR campaign has been, and what these results can mean for your business. 

If you liked this blog, why not check out this one.


How can PR support investment and fundraising?

Whether you’re just beginning your seed round or seeking investment for your Series D, PR can support your business through a funding round.  

PR helps to establish your brand narrative 

The start of any decent PR partnership will begin with messaging. This will help establish the story around your brand, how you tell it and what the most interesting points about it are. 

They’ll then stress-test that messaging with the harshest critics - the media - and put you in interview scenarios that force you to recite these points over and over again. 

They’re storytellers at the end of the day. But being able to recite the most important points about your business under pressure, in an interesting way and within a limited time frame is great practice for an investor pitch. 

As you grow, your agency will help refine these talking points and build out an overarching brand narrative that encapsulates your business and the journey you’re on.

It gets you seen by the right people

Your PR team will be experts on the media landscape and have spent time forming strong relationships with journalists across a range of publications. It’s their job to know where your audience consumes their media. 

So, when your key audience becomes investors, your agency should know exactly what they are reading and what they want to hear from you.

PRs know how to pitch 

Trust us, your agency team spends a huge portion of their time (and careers) pitching. While journalists might not be leading your series A any time soon, investors and reporters aren’t worlds apart - both are time-poor and always looking for an opportunity. 

Brevity and getting to the heart of a story are the absolute essentials of any decent comms pro, so get their help when creating a teaser deck or perfecting your pitch. They’ll definitely be able to offer some tips, even if they can’t be with you in the boardroom. 

PR drives awareness and credibility  

Having a journalist write about your brand, or a celebrity endorse it on social media builds credibility and drives awareness - two things investors love. 

Whether that’s in a national newspaper, a consumer magazine or within your specific industry, you're building a brand that people know about, and more importantly, want to talk about. 

Don’t be afraid to venture outside of your specific industry too - investors are consumers too, and they read magazines and newspapers just like the rest of us. 

It’ll never hurt to include a few articles in your email or pitch deck either - it proves that people outside your organisation are interested in your business too.

If you'd like to chat about how PR can support investment, then email us at hello@wordsandpixels.co


Advice: 3 tips on how to get the most out of your PR agency in 2023

So, you’re hiring a PR agency - maybe this is your first venture into PR, or perhaps you’ve tried on a small scale and want a little extra firepower.

Whatever your reason, before hiring an agency, there’s a couple of things you should be prepared to do. 

We’ve compiled a list of our top tips on how to get the most out of your new PR team, build a partnership that will last, and ultimately get the best results.

 1. Be prepared to invest some time 

The first few weeks and even months will take some investment. It’s arguably the most important part of your relationship together and will set the tone for all future activity. 

During this onboarding period, time should be spent giving your agency all (and we mean all) the information you can about your business, and ensuring there is a clear structure and line of communication in place. 

  • Appoint a single person who manages contact with the PR agency. This person will funnel information between your business and their team, and will be the first port of call for the agency. A secondary point of contact is also useful so they know who to go to if you’re not around. 
  • Treat your agency like a sponge. Often, information that may seem menial to you is interesting to your agency. PR agencies are always looking for new angles or fresh voices to join in conversations, and you’ll likely have this hiding in plain sight. 
  • Introduce your agency to key stakeholders across the business. Signpost employees who are in senior positions or those with technical expertise and interesting backgrounds. In doing so, your agency will obtain a much broader perspective and insight into what goes on in the business. Having a larger bank of expert voices means individuals can be drawn on for interviews to give unique opinions or experiences that journalists will be looking for. 

2. Consider your agency as a partner for the business

It’s really useful to remember that your PR agency isn't just the manpower that pulls off an amazing stunt in the middle of Trafalgar Square. PRs are trained experts that really know the media landscape. They’re storytellers that understand public and media opinion and sentiment. When implemented correctly across the business, this often offers a competitive advantage. 

PR and comms work much more effectively when they are integrated into business decisions and processes, and often businesses are much more innovative when they work closely with their PR teams. Keep your agency in the loop when these important conversations are happening to avoid any missed opportunities or late briefing. 

However, clients can (and should) also manage their PR agency’s expectations. If you promise to be able to deliver something in time frames that you know simply won’t happen, then this will likely cause problems. 

3. Build an effective partnership by trusting their expertise 

Managing expectations is a two way street when it comes to PR agencies and their clients.

Often, clients will want to secure coverage in well-known national titles simply because they’ve heard of them - is this really where your audience are? 

For many, a piece in the Guardian might be a great ego-boost, but it could reach a very limited number of their customers. PR agencies have to manage their clients’ expectations on the types of media they expect to win coverage in, and considering they’re experts in this, you should trust their opinion


Find this blog useful?

Check out our other blogs, especially how to become an established authority in your industry through thought leadership.

Looking for more advice?

Check out our YouTube channel to meet the team, and get our advice on 30 of the burning questions people have about PR.

Fancy a chat?

Drop us a line at hello@wordsandpixels.co


Advice: 12 tips for tackling your first media interview 

So, you landed your first interview... Congrats! But what now?

Learn how to prepare for a media interview here! Landing your first media interview is no mean feat. Some journalists receive hundreds (if not thousands) of pitches a day, so when they decide they want to write about you, take a hot minute to celebrate!

However, whether you approached them or vice versa, getting them interested is only half the battle. You now need to give them a story worth writing about

So, what next?

Preparation. Is. Key.

(Otherwise you'll end up like this bloke)

Even those that spend a lot of time in the eyes of the media will take time to research before giving an interview. 

Here are our top tips for how to prepare before your first media interview, stay on track, and build a relationship with the journalist once it’s done. 

1. Ask the right questions

First things first, ask about the piece. A journalist isn’t likely to give you the interview questions in advance, but there’s a small window before where you can ask a few questions of your own so you understand where they're coming from and their expectations.

Make sure to ask about:

  • The angle they’re approaching it from
  • The format of the interview
  • Anyone else they’ll be speaking to for the piece
  • How much time they need from you
  • The publishing date (make a note in your calendar and circle it in red ink!)

2. Read the media outlet 

You'd be surprised how many people go into an interview without ever having read the outlet they’re about to feature in...

Understanding the publication provides invaluable insight into:

  • Its editorial slant
  • How much detail the interviewer is likely to go into
  • The interests of its readers

We always tell our clients to prep this way, because then you can prepare with information about your business that is going to be most relevant for the journalist.

The best tip (and we can't emphasise this enough) is if you’re being interviewed for a regular slot then read the previous articles. You'll get a good indication of the questions you’re likely to get asked. 

3. Research the journalist

We're not telling you to go overboard buttering the journo up, but a thin spread wouldn't go amiss. Look at stories they’ve written recently and how they’ve covered specific industries or themes:

  • Are they pro or against certain issues?
  • Is there a specific theme running through their pieces?
  • Have they written about your industry before, and if so, how was it covered?

Journalists all have their own agenda and this will likely feed into their interview with you so it’s worth getting to know them through their writing. Make sure to follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn too, you might be able to find the name of their dog or favourite take away which will be handy when trying to form a relationship with them.

4. Write down your key messages

Now you’re familiar with the outlet and the journalist, start to write down a list of the things that you want to get across in the interview.

These should be things you want people to know about your business and offering, but there should be no more than five or six.

Importantly, they should be tailored towards the audience of the outlet, and the article the journalist is writing. There's no point talking about why you're the best consumer offering on the market in Leeds, if you're speaking to a B2B audience in Bristol.

5. Remember you’re ‘on the record’

Remember The Bill? Of course you do, so you know that anything you do say may be given in evidence.

No really, anything you say to a journalist can be published. So, as a general rule of thumb, don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to appear in capitals on the front page. Stick to the facts and don’t speculate, and definitely don’t criticise competitors...

In fact, don’t talk about them at all, this is your interview!

6. Build a rapport 

When the interview starts, use this opportunity to build a rapport with the journalist. How, you ask?

  • Be friendly
  • Thank them for their time and the opportunity
  • Mention something they’ve written that you liked
  • Throughout the interview, be helpful and answer the questions, offering to share additional detail with them that will help their story
  • Follow them on social media

7. You don’t need to know everything 

If a question comes up during the interview that you don’t know the answer to, the best thing is to avoid making it up on the spot and hoping for the best. It rarely works.

It’s fine to let them know that you want to fact check something and will send the correct information after the interview. 

8. Follow up 

Building a rapport is all in the aftercare, so treat the interview like a first date.

Even if you haven’t promised to send any additional information, follow up with the journalist once the interview is done. Thank them for their time and to check they have everything they need, whether its images, stats or facts. If the journalist does request anything, share it with them as soon as you can as they will likely be on a deadline. 

9. Wait for the article 

Now it’s just a waiting game.

If the journalist gave you a publication date, don’t chase them before then. If that date comes and goes, send a polite email to check they have everything they need and ask when it will be going live.

Remember though, for most journalists the publication date is usually out of their control, so be patient. 

10. Share the coverage 

When the piece comes out, read it thoroughly to check for factual inaccuracies. Assuming there are none and it’s a positive and accurate reflection of your interview, shout about it! Share it on social media, with your team and customers, and don’t forget to thank the journalist to let them know how much you like it. 

11. What if they got something wrong?

If there is a factual inaccuracy, for example the spelling of a name or an incorrect date, politely let the journalist know and ask if they can update the article with the correct information.

Accuracy is super important for journalists too, so this should never be a problem. Remember though, not liking the piece or headline is not a factual inaccuracy. 

12. Stay in touch 

Journalists move around a lot as they climb the ranks...

While they might be at a smaller trade or industry publication now, many move on to national and mainstream publications to focus their specialisms.

  • Stay in touch with them
  • Follow them on social media and engage with their posts
  • Read their articles and message them about anything you like or have an opinion on. It will help them remember you for anything they’re writing in the future. 

And Voila! You're now equipped to smash your first media interview. Good luck!

Need media training?

Find our services here, or contact us at hello@wordsandpixels.co - can't wait to chat with you!


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