Please note the following story.

The Queen invites Kate to Christmas at Sandringham

By KATIE NICHOLL, Mail on Sunday Last updated at 20:54pm on 25th November 2006

She has already been granted a rare private audience with the Queen, and now Prince William’s girlfriend has been honoured with an invitation to Sandringham for the Royal Family’s Christmas lunch.

It is the first time an unmarried partner has been invited to the festivities at the Norfolk estate, and it clearly indicates how close Kate Middleton has become to the Royal Family.

However, the 24-year-old has not yet accepted the prestigious invitation, as she struggles to find a compromise if she misses her own family’s traditional Christmas get-together.

We can speculate that somewhere a PR person typed a press release and sent it to the Daily Mail.

What’s the news angle? That someone outside the Royal Family has been invited to Christmas lunch.

Why is that news?

Bluntly? Because the press release says it is.

And the addition of the personal conflict – a young girl trying to decide whether to have spend the holiday with her own family, or the family of her boyfriend – only adds to the appearance of news. (And a photo couldn’t hurt).

There’s a great benefit to publicity. It’s reported by the news department, rather than the advertising department. To the reading (or listening, or viewing) audience news has much more credibility.

What have you done that may be newsworthy? Did you explain your industry to a class of 4th graders? Donated in every blood drive for the last 8 years? Discovered your great grandmother’s teddy bear in a trunk in the attic?

Have you considered releasing the story to the media?

Here’s another thing to consider: many smaller newspapers don’t have a large staff of reporters, and are begging for local news content. If you send the story already written in newspaper style (aka the inverted pyramid), there’s a good chance your story will be picked up as is. The chance improves with a good black and white photo.

Clip the story, run a few photocopies, and add them to your press kit.

Your company does have a publicity/press kit, doesn’t it? If so, a human interest story is a great addition. If not, it’s a great start.

Got a story? Will you make an effort to find or create one?

What’s holding you back?