You’ve got news, and we want to hear it. Let us know your story ideas and we’ll see if we can help you earn coverage.
To submit a suggested tweet, Facebook post, YouTube video or other social media ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting newsworthy information
The following factors are key considerations we make when pitching a story to the media:
Media outlets will not cover a story that is old or seems old. It must be happening now. If it happened last week, chances are it is no longer interesting.
Is the story unique or innovative? Does it go outside the norm? Is it a new or fresh approach to meeting a need? Is it something that has never been done before?
The number of people affected by the story is important. Does the story involve something that will instigate a change that will have an impact on a large group of people or the community? Does the story tie in with a trend or identify a trend that affects a large group of people? Is it information that can help people make an important decision or avoid a serious mistake? Does the story impact the public’s health or safety?
A newsworthy story must seem relevant to the audience. It must happen near to them — hit close to home either in terms of location or interests. Does the story have an impact on a particular community or industry? Does the story tie in with current items in the news? What part of the story brings the topic closer to the public?
Human interest stories appeal to emotion. They arouse the audience’s feelings for the people and problems involved in the story such as sympathy, pride or even amusement. Does the story highlight sorrows, triumphs or overcoming hardships? The most successful news stories include some element of human interest — the impact of the news on an individual or group of individuals.
Academic honors and achievements
News about academic awards and achievements usually are communicated to the university community through print and online publications directed toward faculty and staff, alumni, donors and others with ties to VCU.
These outlets include news releases, online publications for faculty and staff, alumni magazines and alumni and donor publications of the university’s schools and departments.
Academic awards and honors typically are of little interest to media that serve the general public. However, there are some academic recognitions that are considered newsworthy to a general audience and would be considered for a news release distributed to national, regional or local media.
Criteria for deciding whether information about an achievement or award could gain coverage include:
- Is the work being recognized highly topical and of broad public interest?
- Does the recipient have a compelling personal story?
- Is there anything unusual or surprising about this award?
- Does the award carry a high cash value or come from an interesting or surprising source?