2015What big news stories in America stood out to you this year?  Your list likely includes the Ebola epidemic, the unrest in Ferguson, the Republican Party winning big in the November midterm elections, President Obama’s expansion of his executive action for the protection of undocumented immigrants, the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal, the continued rollout of the Affordable Care Act, and the VA Hospital scandal.

The economy, health, and politics were predicted to be the most top-of-mind subjects in 2014 by reporters we surveyed in November/December of 2013. Clearly, they knew what they were talking about. It’s a huge part of a reporter’s job to know what news stories are going to be of interest to their listeners. As communicators, let’s ask ourselves the same questions reporters ask themselves every day:

Do the listeners of this station or network need to hear this news? Why?

Is there any local data or information to make the news hit closer to home for the listeners?

Is it timely and relevant? Can it add something to the conversation surrounding a current news story?

Will the spokesperson be an engaging and relatable interview?

We all know we should go through this checklist, but sometimes it’s easy to forget when we’re “in the weeds” of the story. As we head into 2015, let’s all resolve to take a step back and put ourselves in the shoes of reporters, so our stories can have the strongest possible impact over the airwaves.

Happy 2015! Stay tuned…