Five things all journalists look for to spot a good news angle

By Gemma Gwilym,

How do you spot a good news angle?

That’s a question that I, as a former journalist turned PR professional, get asked quite frequently by clients.

Before writing an article, press release, or blog, everyone will ask themselves if the topic they are considering writing about is, in fact, interesting enough to warrant further discussion.

The term we often use to refer to a good article angle is whether it is newsworthy or not.

Identifying a newsworthy story can be the difference between achieving great coverage, or sending an article out into the media abyss.

Gemma at jamjar HQ

1) Newsworthy or not?

But how do you know if something is newsworthy?

Generally, a good news angle is deemed to be something which is genuinely new, interesting, informative and provides a unique perspective which promotes widespread interest and discussion.

However, when it comes to PR, this can be tricky. What a journalist deems newsworthy, and what a business believes is newsworthy maybe two totally separate things.

There are many reasons for this. It can be difficult for managers or those personally invested in a business to separate what’s interesting to them, from what’s interesting to the general public.

Being realistic and truly assessing the wider news value of your company information, can often shed a light on whether something is actually newsworthy.

When deciding on news value, it’s always handy to carry out a little bit of research online into similar industry stories and gauge interest.

2) Tapping into the news

Then there’s current events and news.

This could be seen to be an easy win for businesses in achieving coverage.

It allows businesses to comment on a story with in-built media interest while offering their own specialist opinion and adding genuine value to the article.

Any time a company can legitimately further the discussion around a news story or widely discussed topic, they are ensuring their story is newsworthy.

Let’s be honest, if you’re talking about something in the news, chances are the public will be too.

3) Human interest

Heartfelt human interest stories are particularly newsworthy and effective in engaging with the general public in an emotive way.

Readers will empathise with articles which detail personal achievement, overcoming adversity, tragedy and triumph, and heartfelt struggles. This enables them to form an emotional attachment with the story’s subject matter increasing their engagement and understanding of your message.

But this can be challenging when you are searching for a human angle in a business story.

Ask yourself, did this promotion come after years of tireless work and personal achievement for the staff member? Has an MBO allowed a family member to continue their family’s business legacy? There could be something you haven’t considered!

Obviously, this should only be used under appropriate circumstances and when there is a legitimate story to tell.

Photo: Vanilla Bear Films

4) Statistics and figures

What catches your attention more effectively – ‘Workers taking duvet days due to stress’ or ‘Over 1.8 million workers forced to take duvet days due to stress’.

Using statistics and figures within an article, and headline, not only strengthens it and draws in the reader by quantifying what you are discussing, but it backs up your point with numerical evidence and legitimises it.

More people are likely to be engaged by an article that discusses specific figures that they can relate to, rather than something vague, such as terms including ‘large sum’, ‘significant amount’ or ‘numerous’.

If a story said: People in Wales were consuming 100 chocolate bars per hour – I’d definitely want to read it! And be honest, you might too …

5) And finally…

Overall assessing whether a story is newsworthy or not is really about being realistic, doing a little bit of research, using some news savviness, and exercising honest non-biased judgement.

If in doubt, the PR team at jamjar are always here to help steer you in the right direction! As content and media specialists, we have a ‘nose for news’ and are happy to advise you on what has news value.

Gemma is our resident media mastermind at jamjar. If you need that journo shine added to a story and an inside look into the mind of a reporter, she’s your gal.

Mythical Creatures made with LEGO® bricks have arrived at Mermaid Quay

By Raspberry Jim,

Cardiff Bay is home to mythical creatures and more now that the BRICKLIVE Fantasy Kingdom has landed at Mermaid Quay.

Nine fabulous models made with a total of nearly 750,000 LEGO® bricks have taken over Tacoma Square, in the heart of Mermaid Quay, until Sunday 1st September.

Free to view, the display features an 11ft fire-breathing dragon, a unicorn and two hunting wolves as well as a wizard, princess, knight and huntswoman. Collectively the models took over 2,000 hours to build. There are also cute dragon whelps (baby dragons) displayed in the windows of various businesses in Mermaid Quay.

At the heart of the display is a throne – laid out in shimmering silk and encrusted with the finest LEGO® brick rubies, emeralds and sapphires – on which visitors can sit and take selfies. Mermaid Quay is running a weekly photo competition to crown a Selfie King or Queen each week – with FREE ice cream for a year from Cadwaladers Mermaid Quay as the weekly prize.

In addition, Mermaid Quay is running a host of other competitions, including:

  • A colouring competition to win a £100 voucher to spend at wagamama Mermaid Quay for young people aged 11 and under to bring their fantasy land to life with their best ever colouring in.
  • story writing competition to win a dinner for a family of four worth up to £75 from Bill’s Mermaid Quay with the theme of myths and legends for anyone aged 12 or over.
  • A themed fancy-dress competition to win fabulous treats at The Crepe Escape Mermaid Quay – open to all ages, the ‘fantasy’ theme means that visitors can let their imaginations run wild with a rich array of possible costumes – from princesses and knights to mythical creatures and unicorns!

This is the first time BRICKLIVE’s Fantasy Kingdom have been be on display in Wales and follows the success of previous displays at Mermaid Quay including the Great Brick Safari, Santa’s Sleigh and Big Cats, which all attracted many thousands of visitors.

The display is visible any time, but the throne will only be available to sit on 10am – 6pm daily. Visiting the installation is free of charge.

Recruitment drive underway at Newport hospital

By Raspberry Jim,

A transition-focused healthcare provider, which is investing £1.5m in extending its specialist neuro-degenerative centre, St Peter’s hospital, has begun its recruitment drive to fill 75 roles.

Ludlow Street Healthcare is looking to strengthen its existing staff team by bringing in more nurses and support workers to work at the Newport-based facility.

Earlier this year the independent healthcare provider announced plans to extend the Newport hospital in a bid to meet the growing need for care provision for people with neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric conditions including acquired brain injury (ABI).

The extension at St Peter’s, which has been awarded the highest service ranking from the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW), will eventually add 4,542 sq ft of space and 18 new beds to the hospital.

With the building work planned in three phases, the first phase which is nearly complete will accommodate six new beds on the ground floor, adding to the 33 already available, along with spacious living and dining areas, a kitchen, and nurse’s station.

David Lawrence, CEO, of Ludlow Street Healthcare recently visited St Peter’s Hospital to view the work completed so far.

David met with Tony Griffiths, Managing Director of Ludlow Langstone Construction, the contractors for the project and visited some of the residents in the existing hospital.

During the visit, he saw some of the facilities which will be available for the new patients, all of which aim to create calm and familiar environments. These included the in-house hair and nail salon, the sensory room, and the relaxation room with its Wellness Nordic Relax Chair.

David also took the time to drop in on one of the Move it or Lose It exercise sessions specially designed to encourage less mobile patients to remain fit and active.

Among other activities available to patients at St Peter’s are animal therapy sessions. Studies show that interaction with animals can lower stress levels, alleviate depression, boost activity and provide companionship. 

St Peter’s has incorporated this popular form of therapy into their regular programming and Mr Lawrence dropped by to experience a session for himself during his visit and meet the animals kindly brought along by Walnut Tree Farm Park.

There has already been considerable interest in the new hospital facilities and once the formal registration process of the new hospital unit is complete, Ludlow Street Healthcare expects to be able to welcome the first new patients in early autumn.

The increased specialist service provision means that Welsh patients who are presently being cared for outside of Wales will be able to return and live closer to home and their families.

Mr Lawrence said: “We are delighted with the work which has been completed on St Peter’s Hospital extension project.

“We feel the extension will significantly enhance the highly regarded treatment and rehabilitation service we already offer.

“There are currently 800,000 people with neurodegenerative diseases living in the UK, and due to people living longer and changing lifestyles, this is forecast to increase to one million.

“This project, along with the extra staff and facilities means we will be better able to meet the growing requirement for specialist neuropsychiatric care.

“St Peter’s Hospital has long been recognized as experts in the care of people with neurodegenerative disorders, and we feel that this significant investment and new extension will allow us to extend the excellent care provision we can offer.”

25 new staff are being recruited currently to support the opening of the 1st phase, with plans to recruit a further 50 staff at the beginning of next year to support the rest of the extension as it completes and is ready to welcome patients.

In addition to St Peter’s Hospital, Ludlow Street Healthcare operates numerous sites, including Pinetree Hospital and Heatherwood Court, which each specialise in areas including the treatment, support, and rehabilitation of people with learning disabilities and mental health disorders.

The group also operates Beechwood College a specialist further education establishment for young adults with complex Autistic Spectrum Conditions and Ocean Community Services which manages small residential step-down and rehabilitation homes within community settings.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the career opportunities on offer should visit

Britain’s Got Talent Finalist ‘X’ to perform in concert with children and young people from across South Wales

By Raspberry Jim,

Mysterious Britain’s Got Talent finalist ‘X’ was revealed to be none other than last year’s semi-finalist – magician Marc Spellman.

Spellman, a mind-reader and magician, impressed Britain’s Got Talent judges in 2018 with his emotional performances, which earned him the elusive Golden Buzzer, but this year went on to the final to scoop the runner-up prize.

ITV viewers and the judges were left in shock on Sunday night as the performer revealed his identity at the grand final missing out on the main prize by a nose to Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery.

At the end of his performance, ‘X’ played a video which revealed who he really was, adding: “It was always about hope and never giving up, it has been an honour sharing X with you. I am X.”

This revelation also came as a shock to hundreds of school children and young people across South Wales, involved in the Beyond Words-Hitting the Right Note concert, of which Marc is a patron.

A thousand children from 36 schools across South Wales have volunteered to sing in a musical extravaganza at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, supported by a host of celebrity acts and professional musicians.

The Beyond Words concert, now in its sixth year, will take place on 15th July 2019 at the Motorpoint Arena and will feature local school children and young people aged between 8 and 23, with a team of young people aged 16 to 23 organising the event.

The theme of the concert will be based on the smash hit song A Million Dreams from the hugely popular musical The Greatest Showman but adapted to create a story about charity and young people’s dreams.

The concert is set to be a showcase of different talents with the children learning new skills as a result of performing alongside world-renowned artists.

Paul Zerdin, a British comedian, ventriloquist and winner of America’s Got Talent in 2015, along with his ‘dysfunctional’ puppet family including popular ‘teenager’ Sam, will also be performing alongside ‘Mystery artist’ Marc at the concert.

Paul says of his role in the project, “It’s terrific being involved with a project that can really reach out and have such a positive effect on young people. Also being a ventriloquist, I have more than one voice which does help make up the thousand voices!”