In a world flooded with information, understanding what makes news and why something is considered newsworthy is crucial. News isn’t just about events that have been reported; it’s about their relevance, timeliness, and impact. What makes something “newsworthy,” determines how you can use it to your advantage.

Enter public relations, the art of getting someone or something into or out of the news, depending on the goal. PR is about leveraging newsworthiness to your advantage, whether you’re seeking positive publicity or conducting damage control. PR professionals know how to leverage the power of publicity to achieve their goals.

When a slew of digitally altered pornographic images of megastar Taylor Swift’s likeness were shared online and viewed by millions, it became painfully clear how easy it is to use artificial intelligence to cause harm. Swift’s PR team took control of the narrative and made sure the world knew those images were fakes that had been posted online without her knowledge or permission.

What makes something powerful is the story behind the facts. News becomes newsworthy when it has relatable elements that resonate with a local community or a global audience. The Swift deepfake porn debacle makes one wonder – if Swift can be a victim, will I be next?

Newsworthiness matters because it increases relevancy, whether positively or negatively. When something is relevant to people’s lives or interests, they are more likely to pay attention to it. A heartwarming story, a groundbreaking innovation or a tragic accident grabs your attention and holds it tight.

News is information that means something to its target audience. News can range from breaking headlines and human-interest stories to political developments and scientific discoveries. It captures attention and provokes interest

Timeliness is another key aspect of newsworthiness. News is about what’s happening now, not yesterday or last week. Events that are happening in real-time or have just occurred are more likely to be considered newsworthy because they are fresh and immediate.

Relatability also matters. Stories that resonate with people on a personal level and evoke emotions and spark curiosity are more likely to be shared and discussed. When people see themselves reflected in the news, they feel a connection to the story and are more likely to engage with it.

But perhaps the most crucial aspect of newsworthiness is its ability to highlight why something is important. Like when A-lister Tom Hank’s image appeared in a dental commercial that used artificial intelligence to create a “deepfake” video of him hawking a product he really did not endorse.

“BEWARE!! There’s a video out there promoting some dental plan with an AI version of me,” Hanks announced last October. “I have nothing to do with it.”

A photo of Hanks that appeared to have been used for the ad’s AI modeling had been posted online as far back as 2014.

Many people who had never heard of “deepfakes” suddenly learned what they are and how they can cause potential harm.

Whether it’s a social issue, a scientific breakthrough, or a cultural phenomenon, news brings attention to issues that matter. It shines a spotlight on topics that might otherwise go unnoticed, sparking conversations and driving change.

PR professionals understand the power of news and use it in their storytelling to get their clients the result they seek: some clients want to get into the news. Others want to get out.

PR professionals also understand that something must be relevant to be newsworthy.

Whether it’s a product launch, a charitable initiative, or a celebrity endorsement, PR professionals leverage newsworthiness to generate media coverage and raise awareness. And if the news is negative, a talented PR practitioner can steer the story in another direction.

Controlling the narrative and mitigating reputational damage in the case of negative news or crisis reparations is at the heart of crisis PR. Strategic messaging and media relations shape public perception and ensure that their client’s side of the story is told in the way he or she wants it to be told.

Newsworthiness drives engagement, sparks conversations, and shapes public perception. PR professionals like those at Red Banyan understand the importance of newsworthiness and use it to their advantage to get their clients into the news or out of it. By leveraging the power of news, public relations can help you tell your story, amplify your message, and achieve your objectives.