OUHK COMM6024 lecture 3 - knowing what the news media wants
DA010 - Professional Diploma in Public Relations - COMM6024EP Media Relations and New Media Technology (2011/10) Lecture 3Knowing what the news media wantsDeveloped and Presented byRoy Ying, Msc., B.Comm.Note: Pictures used in this power point fileis for academic Purpose only
Table of Content• Develop news angle• Know your industry, know your competitor, know the habit of the media who may carry your news• How sound bites are developed?• 5 common ways to win publicity by delivering what media wants• Tutorial – Case studies of successful “hopeless” news• Handing out group assignment
Develop news angleTop 4 considerations before pitching your story to journalists• Reporters are busy, and nothing annoys them more than having their time wasted.• Reporters do not want to cover the same old story that everyone else is covering, or that they themselves have already covered.• Track the work of the reporter you are targeting, gauge his or her interests, and note the stories he or she has done recently.• Your story should be something entirely new, or take a fresh angle on an existing issue.
Develop news angle• Know your audience. Your pitch will only be successful if you deliver it to the right person. This depends on the medium, as well as the kind of story you are pitching.• A newsworthy story is only relevant to the right editor who is looking for this type of news at the right time
Develop news angleClass:Class: What sort of news What sort of news often get reported on often get reported on the newspaper, TV the newspaper, TV or Radio? or Radio? Class: Class: How do you find How do you find out what the out what the media are media are interested in? interested in?
Pitch to TV• Television stations are interested in breaking news stories with a strong visual angle.• Sometimes they will also do investigative features that expose an injustice or take an in-depth look at an issue facing the community.• If your story is breaking news, pitch the assignment editor. If you know that news is going to break in the near future, pitch the futures editor.• Providing the media with advance notice almost always increases your chance of getting coverage. These two people at the television station assign the majority of news coverage to individual reporters.
Pitch to TV• For a feature story that doesn’t concern breaking news, you need to identify the right reporter or producer who will be interested in your pitch.• The easiest way to do this is to watch the news. Pay attention to the beats that reporters cover. Then you can pitch that reporter, or his or her producer, directly.
Pitch to Radio• For a RTHK, Commercial Radio or Metro Radio stations, you may want to target a specific reporter who covers a beat related to your issue.• Some stations may have an assignment editor, and you can always go to the news editor.• If there is a particular show that you want to target, direct your pitch to the show’s producer.• Again, it’s useful to listen to the program that you are pitching so that you have a good sense of the kinds of stories they do and what they’ve already covered.
Pitch to Newspaper• Small newspapers tend to have small staffs, so the best person to receive your pitch may be the news editor if the paper is very small.• At larger papers, you will want to find the reporter covering the appropriate beat for your story, or even consider a columnist.• Again, the easiest way to do this is to read the paper and track the coverage – after a few days or weeks, it will be easy to know who covers what stories.• Beyond a single pitch or story, it’s a good idea to know the reporters who are likely to cover your issues so that you can build a relationship with them.
Pitch to NewspaperCraft a creative pitch.• Reporters are constantly besieged by phone calls, emails and faxes from people trying to convince them to write stories. You need to stand out from the crowd.• This means deciding on the best means of contact – usually email or phone – and developing a pitch that is attention- grabbing and brief.
Pitch to NewspaperUse your phone call wisely• Plan what you will say in advance.• Most reporters will give you 15 seconds – maybe 30 – to make your case. Make those seconds count.• Avoid overwhelming them with jargon. Use a striking fact, or mention the name of a prominent person available for an interview.• If they’re interested, they’ll keep listening. But ifyou can’t capture their interest quickly, you’ll lose them, and the story.
Follow up Calls• You’ve spoken to the reporter, shared additional resources and haven’t heard anything. Give a call, or send a follow-up email.• Ask if they think they are going to do the story, or if they need anything else to help them decide. If they say no, ask if you can stay in touch as things develop.• Your efforts now may pay dividends later. If they say yes, offer to help in any way that you can (identifying spokespeople, providing background information, etc.).• After the story runs, send an email or note thanking them for their efforts.
Know your industry and reporters• When you’re trying to persuade a reporter to do a story about you or your business, you’re much more likely to succeed if you know how to “talk the talk.”• No reporter will expect you to act like an insider, but you’ll get a lot more respect – and attention – if you can speak the language of the newsroom.
Newshook• Connecting a story to something that’s already in the news makes it more interesting. For instance: In my job, we develop professional standards in real estate industry. A hot topic earlier in the year was “The ICON” with poor real estate ethics. The story about RICS Real Estate Agency & Brokerage Standards captured news decision- makers. My PR agency even suggested a Press Conference which attracted record audience.
Local Angle• Events happening on a national or even international stage still can have local impact.• Example Class: Class: What are the local What are the local angles for Hong Kong? angles for Hong Kong?
Sound Bite• It is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that deftly captures the essence of what the speaker is trying to say.• Such key moments in dialogue stand out better in the audiences memory and thus become the "taste" that best represents the entire "meal" of the larger message or conversation.• Successful sound bites always make it on the headline news. Class: Class: Can you think of good Can you think of good sound bites? English or sound bites? English or Chinese. Chinese.
Famous English soundbites• “The only thing we have to fear is – fear itself". (the most famous phrase in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address in 1933)• "Houston, weve had a problem." (said by James A. Lovell in the Apollo XIII mission)• “Elvis has left the building" was an announcement often heard on the public address system after an Elvis Presley concert to disperse crowds lingering for an encore.
Remember who said this?• Too simple, sometimes naive• I have a dream• 我爸是李刚• 要赢人先要赢自己• One small step for man, one big step for mankind• 我要做好这份工
Why are sound bites important?• In a TV news, time is very previous• TVB for example, noon time news is 17 minutes, 6:30 news is 22 minutes, late night news is 19 minutes• Subtracting the weather, there is really not much time for each piece of news (1 to 2 minutes max)• Reporters always look for the “sound bite” that best represent the interview• PR practitioners should always develop an obvious “sound bite” so reporters can easily identify
Creating your sound bites• Let’s find out how reporters look for them
Common elements of sound bite• Contradictions: ‘not this but that’• Comparisons: ‘more this than that’• Opposites: ‘black or white’• Rhetorical questions: ‘is it not’• Examples: ‘just like’
5 common ways to win publicity1. Human-interest stories. These are those stories that evoke emotion, whether it’s about a person or a project. One effective approach is to tell a poor-to-rich or a success story.
5 common ways to win publicity2. Tie soft news with a big current event. This is called ‘piggybacking’ in the news business and is a great way to take a recent national headline and tie it in with your business, product or service.
5 common ways to win publicity3. The result of a customer survey or research. The media is always interested in findings of a research or a survey.
5 common ways to win publicity4. A top 10 (or whatever) list. The simplicity of a top XX list is fun to read and sure to attract attention. Use your area of expertise to create lists that will attract your media of choice’s target audience.
5 common ways to win publicity 5. Prove a popular belief wrong. Take a general assumption and put a controversial perspective to it.
AssignmentYou are assigned to host a press activity to maximize media coverage from the following corporate news:• Tony Leung (梁朝伟) becomes the Ambassador for HK Entertainment Expo for the 7th year in a row• CUHK President & Vice Chancellor Joseph Sungs 14-day service trip to Uganda with medical students• China Mobile becoming Apple’s partner• Announcement of Miss Hong Kong 2012 Entry• An official announcement from CY Leung to run for HK’s Chief Executive Election
Assignment - requirement• Objectives• Elements in the presentation – Who (list of relevant media and stake holders) – What (the message) – When (timing) – Where (venue of press activity) – How (packaging the press invitation)• Rundown of press activity• Sound bite• Ways to attract publicity• Measurement metrics
3D Outline ToolFor PR Events• Time• What• Audience• Objectives• How• Checklist• Why• Who
Assignment - requirement• Presentation of your media plan (15-20 min)• Deadline – last lecture• One hard copy and one soft copy• All team members have to contribute, but not all are required to speak• Each team member will get the same grade• Points will be deducted if: – Any of the required elements is missing – Presentation shorter than 15 or longer than 20 mins – Error in use of language (spelling, grammar, logic)
Assignment - requirementMarks also be given on quality of questions:• Team 1 to ask Team 5 at least 2 questions• Team 2 to ask Team 1 at least 2 questions• Team 3 to ask Team 4 at least 2 questions• Team 4 to ask Team 2 as least 2 questions• Team 5 to ask Team 3 at least 2 questions