Sarahgricius's Blog

Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.

Chapter 4 Reading Notes February 15, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Reading Notes — sarahgricius @ 5:10 PM

Effective publicists need to know three things. First, they must be thoroughly familiar with traditional journalistic news values. Second, they must know where to find news and how to select the angle that will be most interesting to journalists and the public. And third, they must be problem solvers and come up with creative publicity tactics that effectively break through a forest of competing messages. The publicist must also overcome four obstacles in order to generate in the news media. The first obstacles is the media gatekeepers, second is the incredibly shrinking news hole, third is the reality that the traditional mass media is now fragmented, and it is no longer, possible to reach the larger public through a single medium, and finally the fourth obstacle is an information overload. Publicists must be familiar with elements if they are to generate the kind of information that appeals to media gatekeepers. Here are some of the elements:

-Timeliness, possibly the most important characteristic of news, is defined as news that is current. Ways to make news timely is to announce something when it happens, provide information or story ideas that relate to an event or situation that is already being extensively covered by the news media, timely distribution of publicity materials is to relate the organization’s products or services to another or services to another event that has national recognition and interest, and offering information linked to events and holidays that are already on the public agenda. An example is, Christmas is a major season for purchasing children’s toys, so the media are receptive to news release from toy manufacturers about products on the market

-Prominence happens when the news media rarely cover the grand opening of a store or anything else unless there is a prominent person with star power involved. The presence of movie stars, rock stars, and professional athletes at special events invariably draws crowds and the media, but an organization can attract media coverage by using other kinds of prominent people as well. For example, Home Depot got publicity mileage by having Brad Pitt appear at a news conference to talk about the company’s partnership with Pitt and Global Green to rebuild New Orleans.

-Proximity, also called hometowners, are custom tailored for an individual’s local newspaper or broadcast station by emphasizing the local angle in the first paragraph of the news release. For example, an insurance company, may announce that 150 of its agents nationwide qualified for induction into the “Million Dollar Roundtable” in sales. The publicist would localize using software to insert the names individual agents into the lead paragraph of the news release.

-The other elements to generate information are: significance, unusualness, human interest, conflict and newness.

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