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Finding And Generating News
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Finding And Generating News


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This lecture focuses on how PR practitioners can better understand the role and paradigm of the journalists they pitch.

This lecture focuses on how PR practitioners can better understand the role and paradigm of the journalists they pitch.

Published in: Business, News & Politics

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  • 1. Finding and Generating News PR 313
  • 2. Dealing with Gatekeepers
    • You may control the presentation of your press campaign, but you can’t control how it is used by journalists
  • 3. Media Gatekeepers
    • Journalists are flooding by PR reps
    • How do you break through the clutter?
  • 4. Trading Spaces
    • Put yourself in the position of the journalist
    • What will you respond to?
    • What are the challenges you face?
  • 5. Some challenges
    • Limited space
    • Limited time
    • Pressure to be correct
    • Pressure to be “fair and balanced”
    • Desire to tell the “truth”
    • Information overload
    • Competitive pressure
  • 6. What can you do?
    • Target your campaigns intelligently
    • Shape your pitch so that it conforms with what the public and media will respond well to
    • Be a student of psychology and human behavior
  • 7. Helping the Writer
    • By helping the writer/editor acquire the information, the PR person is directly involved in the research for the story
      • In some cases, this can help “spin” the story in a direction desired by the PR company
  • 8. Inside the Mind of the Journalist
    • Journalists look for the following criteria when determining “what is news”
  • 9. What is Newsworthy?
    • Timeliness
    • Prominence
    • Proximity
    • Significance
    • Unusualness
    • Human Interest
    • Conflict
    • Newness
  • 10. Timeliness
    • How recently did (or will) the event happen?
    • Live event?
    • The more time that passes, the less newsworthy a story is
  • 11. Timeliness
    • When your client makes an announcement, you must make sure that the information reaches the media immediately
      • Sometimes, you can give the press information early so that they can prepare the news story in advance
        • “ Press Embargo”
        • “ Non-disclosure”
  • 12. Timeliness
    • Tap into current events and holidays for possible news coverage
    • Find a hook that links your campaign to the news
      • Example:
        • Movie download service Movielink gets publicity due to the media’s interest in the timely topic of movie piracy
  • 13. Prominence
    • Celebrity adds credibility and news value to a campaign
      • A marginal pitch might get coverage when you add a well-known spokesperson
  • 14. Prominence
    • “ One” Campaign
    • Enlisted celebrities to call attention to the cause
  • 15. Example
    • Katie Couric went on a media tour to discuss the importance of getting colonoscopy cancer-screening tests
    • 20% increase in the procedure in the following months after the campaign
  • 16. Proximity
    • Does your pitch have a local angle?
  • 17. Proximity
    • Statistic: About 70% of all news coverage in business/financial sections focuses on LOCAL businesses
    • If you are doing a national campaign, customize a local pitch for each regional media outlet
  • 18. Significance
    • How does the information impact the audience?
    • Create a pitch that addresses a concern or need of the audience
  • 19. Significance
    • Example:
      • After 9/11 attacks, there was public concern about safety in high-rise buildings
      • “ High-rise Office Parachute” product got tons of publicity
  • 20. Unusualness
    • An unusual event or PR campaign might generate some news interest
    • Example:
      • “ World’s largest sandwich” event sponsored by Bimbo Bakery (Mexico City)
  • 21. Unusualness
    • Example:
      • issues a press release that promotes the site’s “number one” reviewer
      • Harriet Klausner has written over 12,000 reviews without pay for the site
  • 22. Human Interest
    • Is there an emotional component to the campaign?
    • If it is “interesting,” then it may be newsworthy
  • 23. Human Interest
    • Example:
      • World AIDS Day is Dec. 1
      • Campaign to raise awareness might include a personal story of someone impacted by AIDS
      • Media responds to the “human interest” angle
  • 24. Conflict
    • Conflict and tension tends to get news coverage
    • A PR campaign can jump into the discussion/debate
      • Use caution in these situations
  • 25. Conflict
    • Example:
      • Political PR campaign for pro-life vs. pro-choice
      • Your candidate can gain publicity by aligning with a particular side in the debate
  • 26. Newness
    • If it is perceived as “new,” then it is elevated in news importance
    • Many PR campaigns repackage or reinvent something old into something “new” to gain publicity
  • 27. Newness
    • Example:
      • Tide detergent has been “new and improved” each year for decades
  • 28. Applying the News Criteria
    • As you strategize your PR campaign, you should look internally and externally to determine possible news angles to pitch
  • 29. Internal
    • Conduct a needs assessment with your client
    • What activities/initiatives/products/services might be considered relevant to the media
  • 30. Some Things to Consider
    • Is there anything new happening?
    • Is there a high-profile personality involved with a project?
    • Is there anything unusual happening?
    • Is there anything with human interest?
  • 31. External
    • Look outside the organization for events or trends that you can tap into
    • Be pro-active in pitching the media about your initiative – within the framework of the larger news/event phenomena
  • 32. Example
    • As a reporter, I often needed a legal perspective for some of my stories
    • One very media-savvy lawyer made a point to “reach out” to me
      • Gave me her cell number
      • Willing to help me research legal info
      • Willing to give a quote
      • Her career benefited from the exposure
      • I got my quote/credibility
  • 33. Creating News
    • A PR person can help to “create news” by understanding what journalists respond to
    • “ Pseudoevents”
    • Contests
    • Polls and Surveys
  • 34. Develop a Media Campaign Strategy
    • On the following slides, you will see several scenarios that require you to develop a media campaign strategy
    • Using the “news criteria” cited in the previous slides, develop your thoughts on how you would deal with the media on behalf of your client in each scenario
  • 35. Media Campaign Strategy
    • Your findings should include:
      • Who is/are the public(s) you are trying to reach?
      • How will you reach them?
        • Develop specific strategies
        • Include a local angle, if possible
      • What is your message?
        • Include key “talking points”
  • 36. Scenario No. 1
    • Lavoris Mouthwash is a 100-year-old brand
    • It was the first consumer mouthwash
    • However, it is perceived as stodgy and old-fashioned
    • Sales are down and the product is no longer carried by most retailers
    • Develop a strategy that can begin to revive this brand and change public perception
  • 37. Scenario No. 2
    • Actor Tom Cruise is having a career crisis
    • He is getting negative press due to his strange public behavior and some bias toward his religious beliefs
    • Develop a strategy to help him turn the public perception around!
  • 38. Scenario No. 3
    • Motorola was recently given an “F” grade by Greenpeace due to its poor support of recycling
    • Develop a strategy to help Motorola reverse the public perception that it is not eco-friendly
  • 39. Scenario No. 4
    • FIFA (the organization behind the World Cup) is trying to take the sport to the “next level” in the U.S.
    • Despite massive global popularity, professional soccer is not too popular in the U.S.
    • Develop a strategy to increase awareness and enthusiasm for the sport
  • 40. Scenario No. 5
    • Computer company Dell recently recalled several million laptop batteries due to concerns that they might catch fire
    • Consumer confidence is shaken in the company
    • Develop a strategy to win back the trust of consumers