How to draft news stories for the media

An anniversary, a controversial topic, a local interest, an uncovered injustice, a seasonal event, a volunteering program: this is just a short list of the “angles” which a news story can be built around in order to catch a journalist’s eye.

News stories add credibility to your work, since they are much more widely believed than advertising. They offer a wide variety of strategies to communicate your message and what’s behind your organisation and your day work. Only if you can draft a newsworthy one.

Media clip examples – Italian PR activities

Although your issues are important, they may not seem “newsy.” One of the challenges is to tell your stories from “new angles” and perspectives, so that journalists consider them fresh, current, and innovative – in other words “deserving of press coverage.”

That’s why examining facts and the mission of your company is the first – and most important – step in every storytelling project.

Here you will find 3 News Stories we worked on last autumn. They were part of a media relations’ project for our client Inspired Education, a world-leading, co-educational group of premium schools. The activities were aimed to give visibility to their educational centres based in Italy and to their best educational practices.

First step: facts & mission

Our first step was to organise  bilateral meetings with each of the schools’ principals. The aim of these meetings was to get to know all the schools’ upcoming news and events so we could get all set up to promote them in the best possible way.

We decided to base the storytelling on the International Baccalaureate programme’s 3 pillars (CAS):

  1. Creativity (workshop, art, theatre, etc.)
  2. Action (sports, meeting and special moments)
  3. Service and Communities (volunteering for no-profit, camp animators, helping young students, etc.)

Example 1: A Day with Volleyball Championship Issa Batrane

In collaboration with the non-profit organisation Sport for Champions, the international School of Modena (Northern Italy) hosted the Beach Volley Championship Issa Batrane. On 9th of November, the athlete met with over 200 students from the school. A moment of reflection on the values of sport and professional growth that led him to engage with the students I in an open question-and-answer session. Starting from his personal experience, as a young boy growing up in a difficult social context, Issa invited the students to reflect on sports ethics and on the importance of sport as a tool for training and growth.

Il Resto del Carlino announcing the arrival of Mr. Issa Batrane

Media activities:

  • Press invitation: the aim was to involve local and sport journalists from Gazzetta di Modena, Il Resto del Carlino, Gazzetta di Carpi. The event was open to journalists interested in interviewing Mr. Issa Batrane.
  • 1 Press release (shared before the event) and a second one distributed after the event (with a nice photo gallery enclosed).

Media results:

  • The news were featured twice in local newspapers: first clip, a few days before the date with the announcement of the arrival of Mr. Issa Batrane, together with a description of the project. Second clip: the day after the event, with a report of the day including a photo gallery of the best moments.
  • Each article (see the links below) sets the context of the event and the school’s role in it.

Media clips:

Example 2: a lesson on tolerance and respect

Mr Rabinowicz s speech

In collaboration with the Gamaraal Foundation, on 19th of December 2022, the International School of Ticino (Canton Ticino – Switzerland) hosted an event with Mr. Fishel Rabinowicz, an Holocaust’s survivor. He is a Polish Jew who now resides in Canton Ticino, one of the 400 still living in Switzerland. He brought his touching testimony to the School’s alumni who were able to meet him in the setting of the school theatre where, for the occasion, some photographic works granted by the Shoah Foundation of Milan were also exhibited.

Media activities:

  • A press invitation was sent: the aim was to involve some of the main newspapers of Canton Ticino (Switzerland). The meeting was open to few selected journalists who were interested in interviewing Mr. Rabinowicz and in visiting the photographic exhibition located in the School’s theatre.
  • 1 Press release (shared before the event) to spread the news and disseminate the event.

Media Results:

  • 4 Journalist participating: 1 from Corriere del Ticino, 1 from Ticino Online, 1 from Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana, 1 from Cattolica – Portale Cattolico Svizzero (the catholic weekly supplement of Corriere Ticino).
  • The activity was featured twice in the local newspapers: the first time was a few days before the 19th of December announcing the arrival of Mr Rabinowicz and describing the event.  The second clipping was published the day after the event, with a  report of the day including the photo gallery of the best moments. Radiotelevisione Svizzera Italiana’s troupe made a documentary/interview for “Strada Regina” tv programme.
  • Each article (see the link below) sets the context of the event well and the school’s role in it.

Media clips

Example 3: the Iceland Teachers’ Union guest of the institute

On 24th October 2023, the international School of Bergamo (Northern Italy) hosted 42 teachers from the Háaleitisskóli Institute in Reykjanesbær, Iceland.

The group was able to follow the teaching activities for the whole day and discuss teaching methods and approaches with their colleagues. The meeting was part of a training project subsidised by the Icelandic union, which had already chosen the International School of Bergamo for its educational programmes in 2019.

Photo courtesy of International School of Bergamo

Media activities

2 Press releases were distributed: the first one to announce the meeting and the second one after it with a selection of pics from the best moments. Target media: specialized press and local press (Bergamo City)

Media results:

The news got a wide visibility, both on specialized and national press, thus promoting the international aims of the school and its IB programme.

Media clips:

Agenzia Dire

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