Finding & Making News

Chapter 4

Link to Book: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques

Author: Dennis Wilcox

The Challenge of Making News

  • Many purposes of public relations programs is to provide information to the media in the hope that it will be published or broadcast, the resulting coverage is called publicity.
  • Publicist– public relations writer who writes and places stories in the media.

Effective publicist need to know three things:

  1. They must be thoroughly familiar with traditional journalistic news values.
  2. They must know where to find news and how to select the angle that will be most interesting to journalists and the public.
  3. They must be problem solvers and come up with creative publicity tactics that effectively break through a forest of competing messages.
  • Media gatekeepers– they decide what information is newsworthy and what is not.
  • Hometowners– stores custom tailored to a particular newspaper or broadcast station by focusing on the local angle in the first paragraph of the news release.
  • Judging Significance in making news: You must know not only how many people will be affected but also who will be affected.
  • First step in finding news is to become familiar with the organization you represent. The Public Relations Campaign Strategies; this involves looking at variety of sources, including the following: Important papers, periodicals, clipping files, other published materials.
  • Pseudoevent: to describe events and situations that are created primarily for the sake of generating press coverage.
  • Public Relations firms such as Ketchum generate creative ideas by conducting brainstorming sessions.
  • Soundbites– a statement or quote from an individual, which is inserted into audio and video news releases.
  • SMT(Satellite Media Tour)- is essentially the process of placing a spokesperson in a television studio and arranging for news anchors around country to do a short interview via satellite.


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