Last month, ABC News Correspondent Elisabeth Leamy spoke to
Credit Union League and Association communicators about media relations and the
elements of a good news story.
Her presentation reminded me of an acronym used in public
relations to determine if your idea had news value.
TIP CUP represents the words timeliness, impact, proximity,
conflict, unusual and prominence. A newsworthy story will have one or more of
Timeliness Is it happening now? Or will it happen soon? Don’t send a
journalist information about an event that happened last week.
Impact Will this have an impact on readers or viewers? Will they be
interested? How can it help them or make their lives better? What is the "wow”
Proximity Is it happening in your town or nearby? Will it affect your
community? If it’s a national story, how can you make it local?
Conflict Are there two sides to this story? Another angle is an
individual struggle against a life event or tragic situation.
Unusual Novelty is always a plus. Are you announcing a new
innovative product? Or a fresh approach to something old and traditional?
Prominence If your story involves a well known person, the news value
Two other tips that Leamy covered during her presentation
are worth repeating:
Know what kinds of stories the journalist covers. Don’t
pitch how your credit union member destroyed their debt to a reporter that
covers local crime or state legislative issues.
Be mindful of
where the journalist works. If you are contacting a TV station, make sure you
have good video opportunity, or can supply it to them. If it’s a print
publication, high quality photos work best. Radio interview? An interesting
sound bite will carry the story.
Journalists are busy and many receive hundreds of news
releases a day. Make yours stand out by ensuring your information passes the
"who cares?” factor by asking yourself, why would people care about this? What
value does the information have for consumers? And be sure it passes the TIP