Media attention is not an end in itself – it must serve your mission and further your objectives. What is critical is to understand who is using which channel to access what information, and when they are doing it. A few pointers to help tailor your communications so you can retain your audience’s interest:

Is your story newsworthy?

Here’s an example of 9 things that can determine how newsworthy a story is. The more boxes you can tick, the more likely your story is going to climb up the running order of a news bulletin.

  • TIME – When did it happen?
  • AUDIENCE – Who did it happen to?
  • CONSEQUENCE – Does it affect your audience and if so, how?
  • PROXIMITY – How close is your audience to the story?
  • PECULIARITY – How unusual is it? Does it happen every day?
  • PROMINENCE – Did it happen to someone noteworthy?
  • CONFLICT – Is there a contention?
  • TOPICALITY – How does it relate or link to other things happening at the moment?
  • PACKAGE – How does it fit in with the other stories currently running?

Cut through the clutter!

Every channel (radio station, TV channel, newspaper, online media) can provide you with demographics showing a detailed description of their audience. Use these insights to establish the value or price of your content, and engage your audience timeously and appropriately in line with your resources.

Is your brand distinct and consistent?

Understand yourself, your brand and what you do as a social service. Your brand is the most efficient and most effective differentiation factor you have – you need to use it well.

For more pointers, have a look at these related articles:


Adapted from 2012 Autumn Academy presentation on Mastering the media by Sarah Nicklin.