Press Release Checklist Item #6


This short item is from the Press Release Checklist,
a list of common problems with PR writing assignments.


Baskerville Old Face 
#5

An angle that isn't sharp -- Remember, the difference between an item of information that belongs on a bulletin board, and a real news story, is the news angle. It can't be a mushy generality -- it has to be the most unique, unusual, significant, notable fact about your story. Otherwise your story makes an editor say "Aw, ain't that nice, but why are you telling me all this?" Or, more curtly: "So What?" Before the editor says "So What?" you should ask yourself that same question -- anticipate it, and answer the question before it comes up. The quality of the news angle is the biggest difference between press releases that get prominent placement in the news, and those that merely make the listings, the "news notes," and the back pages. Often an editor will do a favor for a worthy cause by including an item somewhere in the paper -- so long as there's no real news to bump it... but you don't want charity -- you want your story on the front page, dammit.