Tag Archives: Spring ’10 Reading Notes-COMM4333

How Can I Get This in the Paper?

18 Feb

In order to get publicity, coverage of news, a public relations writer must understand the basics of newsworthiness:

  • Timeliness- occurring recently. Many news outlets battle to get the news out or “break the news” before any other station does. Accuracy can, at times, be neglected.
  • Prominence- A celebrity or famous public figure is in the picture, making it news.
  • Proximity- generally, news that is localized or nearby.
  • Significance- Affecting a group of people. Must be important and a publicist must prevent the journalists from wondering if it will affect anyone or if anyone will care.
  • Unusualness- Things that are odd tend to make news just because they are not seen on a regular basis.
  • Human Interest- focuses on someone’s life, not necessarily a famous person, it can be an everyday person. People enjoy these stories because they may be found in the same, or a similar, situation that the featured person is dealing with.
  • Conflict- Unsolved problems or disagreements are newsworthy because people like to follow the process of a decision or occurrence.
  • Newness- Introducing things that are new to the public. A new device or method, for example.

It is important for a publicist to know lots about who they are working for in order to effectively advertise, or inform, about the company or corporation to generate the desired result or action from the public.

Some tactics that a publicist can use are:

  1. Special events- An event that will trigger the media’s attention and result in a news story.
  2. Contests- The book quotes “If all else fails, sponsor a contest.” It advises to plan with care, develop credibility, hire experts, and keep it local.
  3. Polls- Getting the public’s opinion about something.
  4. Top 10 lists- (self-explanatory)
  5. Stunts- The book states to attempt to beat a Guinness World Record.
  6. Product demonstrations- Displaying how the product works, etc. Providing free samples or coupons help people decide if they will spend their hard earned money on the product.
  7. Rallies and protests
  8. Personal appearances
  9. Awards

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