Some of the most diplomatic moments of my career are when I have had to gently manage the expectations of an overly excited principal or client who believes they are sitting on a huge news story. Sometimes they genuinely do have something exciting to share or an idea on how to generate some buzz. Still, most of the time, I have to gently redirect their enthusiasm by either reframing their idea or flat-out explaining why something isn't going to make it into the New York Times or Journal.
So what is newsworthy? Let's first discuss what typically isn't.
(Note: for the sake of brevity, we are not discussing your goals for media attention or the audience you are trying to influence or how it ties into your business objective. That will be a future post.)
Run a search on the average length of a sound bite, and you will see that it lasts anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds. So let's split the difference and say the average is 10 seconds in length. (This is in sync with an NPR article on The Incredible Shrinking Sound Bite, which has it at 9 seconds, but 10 is easier to remember.)
Well, that is about 21 spoken words.
When people think about an organization's communications, they usually either think "PR" or "internal communications."
And yes, they are two essential elements of a full-scale comms shop, but there is a lot more to creating and managing an agile and successful department.
Communications impacts all aspects of a business. A good comms shop is a value add to your organization. They help put out fires, navigate complicated issues, generate ROI, and serve as a trusted advisor. If your comms shop is not fulfilling the above, there is room for improvement.