Does Your Content Pass the ‘So What’ Test?

With the deluge of data rushing at journalists on a daily basis, there's a key question you should ask before you send along that press release: So what? If your latest "news" doesn't have a satisfying answer to that question, you may as well send it to the abyss. 

During PR News’ Writing Boot Camp earlier this week in San Francisco, Beth Haiken, VP of corporate citizenship and communications at Waypoint Homes, drove this point home with four examples of headlines from press releases that do not pass the "so what?" test.

●      Company X Appoints Four New VPs

●      Company Y Moves to Seventh Floor                       

●      Company Z Continues to Offer the Same Product

●      Cloud Solutions Provider Launches Website           

If no one outside your company would care about the announcement—or, worse, not even people within your organization would care—then it's certainly not going to catch the eye of your intended audience or media outlet(s).

Follow Lucia Davis: @LKCDavis.  

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About Lucia Davis

Lucia Davis is community editor for PR News. Prior to returning to NYC, she was associate editor at iMedia Connection in Culver City, CA. In addition to PR News and iMedia, Lucia's writing has appeared in minonline, "The Minetta Review," "EQUITIES Magazine," and "The Foothills Paper."

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  • PhoeniX Strat Comm

    True. I received thousands of releases during my years in TV newsrooms. If the releases didn’t pass the “who cares?” test, they were filed away, never to be seen again.

    “Who cares?” and “So What?” provide powerful insights. They are simple questions that can help PR pros improve their placement rates. I’ve found that asking clients these questions can help them make an informed decision when they insist upon publicizing something in which audiences–and consequently, media outlets–will not be interested.