Read All About It! The Eight Elements of News

Read All About It! The Eight Elements of News

Posted on December 09, 2013 0 Comments

news-wireOne of the things that plays on the mind of any marketer involved in creating content is just how to get an audience to sit up and listen. All the hours of writing, editing and proofing can come to nothing if just left to sit on a website that nobody visits, or placed on a piece of collateral that goes straight in the trash.

This is something that Todd Van Hoosear, VP Public Relations and Stakeholder Engagement at Hart-Boillot, and a lecturer at Boston University College of Communication, is an expert on, and he had some great tips for our Progress Exchange 2013 conference attendees on what makes content newsworthy.  He recommends that a great way to test whether your copy is likely to get attention is to see how it measures up against the following Eight Elements of News.

Click to Tweet:   The Eight Elements of News

1. Immediacy

Has it just happened?  Notice how prominently Twitter feeds are displayed during live TV and radio coverage of events.  Whether it's the Super Bowl or a humanitarian crisis, information provided via the Social Media feeds of individuals is seen as valuable and relevant.

2. Proximity

Is the news geographically local to the readership or close to their hearts?

3. Prominence

Is your information or news about something that is highly topical today?  Is it about something / someone that people believe to be of great significance or importance?

4. Oddity

There is a reason why videos of animals doing crazy things are so popular on YouTube.  We are attracted to things that are a little strange, out of the ordinary and unusual.  Progress' own example is our much loved pup 'Chilly' the SQL coding dog.

5. Conflict

Is there a an element of struggle in your story?  Is what you're describing helping a customer to address a real challenge that significantly impacts their lives or businesses?

6. Suspense

People need a reason to keep reading.  Can you create a 'cliff-hanger' or leave your readers wanting more?

7. Emotion

Anything that speaks to people's experiences and conveys real emotion will help them to connect with your message.  The trick is to do this appropriately and with authenticity.  It doesn't have to be a tear-jerker of a story, nor does it need to be designed to keep your audience in stitches - sometimes it helps to just be a little bit more human in your communications.

8. Consequence

Does the subject of the story you are telling have an impact on people's lives?


So there you have it.  Eight top tips to measure your next piece of content against.  We'd love to hear how this benefits your next piece of news, please get in touch to share it with us!  Here's how you can connect:




The Progress Team

View all posts from The Progress Team on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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