5 ways to reframe a non-news event to attract reporters

Often, PR people are asked to pitch a story that isn’t newsworthy. Here are ways to make those non-news stories attractive to journalists.

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I’m talking about the ribbon-cuttings, groundbreakings, store openings, anniversaries, and small-product launches. They’re a big deal to your client (who is paying you), but chances are good they will not resonate among the journalists you pitch regularly—at least not those at daily metro papers or big online news sites.

It comes down to this old adage: Man Bites Dog makes the news. Dog Bites Man rarely does—unless the story has a twist. Your job is to take a Dog Bites Man pitch and give it a twist that makes it more exciting, interesting, or unexpected.

Here are five ways to do that:

1. Widen the angle.

Combine the not-so-big news with other elements that, together, are big enough to warrant coverage. Say a nonprofit client just hired a new No. 3. Meh. That’s not a story. But if that’s combined with several new board members and two promotions—including a communications director, which reporters and editors will need to know about—now you’ve got something. This happened to one of my clients. The changes occurred over several weeks, but we wrapped them together into one news release—and three different news outlets ran stories.

2. Don’t use traditional media.

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