Public Relations
Sep 10, 2018

Q&A: What Do Reporters Want in a Story?

PR Problem Solvers Q&A Blog Series

What Reporters Want in a Story

Image: Hal Gatewood, Unsplash

Question: What are the key things that a reporter is looking for before he or she decides to do a story?  I want to explain those requirements to my marketing department.


What reporters want



Dear What reporters want:

First of all, make sure that your story is newsworthy. Then, think about what the reporter needs in order to say “yes” to the story.


The reporter wants:

  1. The ability to name customers in the story and, possibly, to interview customers. The reporter is looking for customers who can talk about the problem they face and what their solution was to the problem. Most of all, the reporter wants customers with some name recognition or ones that are large in size and do substantial business.
  2. Timeliness is key and reporters want advance notice of that story.
  3. Relevance to what is happening in the market.
  4. An angle on the story that is new and different. Does your company have a different opinion than all the other companies in your market? That will be more interesting to a reporter.

[bctt tweet=”What do reporters need to say “yes” to a story? Timeliness, relevance, a new angle, uniqueness, experts, art, customers and social promotion of the story.” username=”MartellComm”]

  1. An element to the story that is unique to their readers. Most reporters want a unique story or a different take on your news. They don’t want to write the same story as their competitors.
  2. Third-party experts to speak with about the company and the market.  This is where you suggest industry analysts, leading bloggers or other influential people in your particular market.
  3. ART! Photos, including screenshots, headshots, customer settings, and diagrams in high resolution, meaning at least 1 MB. Video is becoming more important as well.
  4. Reporters want to know that you will help socially promote the story to your company’s followers. Once the story appears, make sure you promote the story on your company channels.

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