Rising to the Challenge of Creating Newsworthy Content

Rising to the challenge of creating newsworthy content on a whiteboard (diagram)

Amanda Milligan, a marketing and communications specialist, with a degree in journalism and Growth Director at Fractl, knows a thing or two about newsworthy content.

It’s fair to say in fact, that she knows more than most, so when she recently took the time to explore the three components that will elevate your content to true newsworthy status, then the smart thing to do was to take notice and take notes.

Ahead of her MozCon Virtual 2021 presentation, Amanda had some genuine pearls of wisdom to share on the Moz.com blog. There, she spoke about the three vital components of newsworthy content that builds links effectively.

Those components are data, emotion and impact.


Amanda talks at length about the importance of data and for the vast majority, who lack the resources of a dedicated news company, the importance of research and investigating the things that matter to us and our audience.

Her insight led to breaking that data into three very unique forms.

Internal data

Internal data is original and something that many of us already have access to without realising. Obviously there are clear boundaries here, but if you or your organisation has information that can be shared and might be insightful to people, it can be a great place to start.

Amanda also explores the potential for existing mailing lists or active audiences that can be polled or surveyed to further discover exactly what people want.

Publicly available data

Amanda cites publicly available government datasets as potentially ideal sources of engaging content. The cost of home improvement projects over time for example, compared to how often people undertake them can offer real insight when the two datasets are combined.

It might require research and a lot of clever planning, but it can often lead to fascinating insight and original content.


Data collecting via surveys, scraping social media and thinking outside of the box are all advisable in order to collect data. Amanda offers this advice:

“Basically a good way to think about it is ask yourself a question that's interesting to you and would be interesting to your audience or think about what's interesting to your audience.

If there is no answer, ask yourself how you can find it. Then this piece will make the rest of the process exponentially easier, because when you go to pitch a reporter, you're going to say, "I have exclusive research, new data that no one else has really talked about before." That is hugely appealing to the media”.


Amanda explores the necessity for emotion in newsworthy content, the goal of making the reader feel something.

That ‘something’ might be an element of surprise, something new and unexpected which is one of the most popular reactions driving viral content and one of the most important ingredients in effective digital PR.

If you find your topic surprising, there’s every chance your audience will too.


The third and final component Amanda explores is impact and your content’s ability to affect its audience and if it does, then how?

Content that impacts a wider audience is a much stronger candidate for newsworthiness on a national level. Amanda stresses the need to ask what we have in common, which topic are we all able to relate to?

Noteworthy read: Google Ranking Factors study - factoring in F.A.C.C (Freshness and consistency of content)

If we can come up with something that does that, if it’s original and has emotional resonance then the likelihood of pitching it successfully is far better. That can lead to media coverage for your brand, brand awareness and authority, as well as backlinks and a welcome SEO boost.

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