Posts Tagged ‘Social media

01
Feb
11

What do journalists really want?

Had an interesting talk with one of the members of staff in the DMU press office last week.

She does most of the story and quote pitching to the media about DMU.

Now, when I think of pitching a story to a journalist, I think phone. But apparently my thoughts are very wrong. My views of a press office or PR department has always been about phones ringing off the hook and PR’s running about taking journalists out for boozy, luxurious lunches! But apparently and from experiencing different placements at PR companies, my views aren’t entirely true.

Apparently using the phone to ring up a journalist to tell him/her about a story they would be interested in is not done at all.

Journalists prefer you to write them an email pitching a story. But not just any old email, no, there are requirements to this email that need to be followed. PR’s need to get straight to the point in the email and keep it very short and simple.

This confirms that, as you can read in my previous blog on press release writing, press releases are the most common way of PR’s contacting journalists. Now I know why.

Funny that most PR agencies or in-house PR departments still think you should ring a journalist instead of bombarding them with emails.

But for some reason I don’t really see the logic of why journalists prefer emails to phone calls. I have a thing about logic, and most people won’t find my logic very logical. But I will give it a go at explaining it.

In previous research for one of my essays about the relationship between PR’s and journalists one of the main conclusions was that journalists have less time to go out and find stories and go out for lunches with PR’s to create good relationships. Journalists have become desk bound. This means that journalists are just churning out stories from information that PR’s are sending them via email.

This is all very logical but then there is no relationship between PR’s and journalists and I think this is an important issue. PR’s and journalists need each other and should therefore have a good relationship.

But isn’t it much nicer to speak to a friendly person on the phone than exchanging emails every time? Emailing is so impersonal. Not that all journalist are friendly on the phone, especially when on deadline!

We are all to bound to our computers, laptops, smartphones and iPad now a days. We post everything online and hardly speak to each other anymore. But for a relationship to work you have to speak to each other.

Have gone off track a bit from pitching to the relationship between PR’s and journalists but I would like to hear your views on either of these topics. Or on logic for that matter!

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09
Nov
10

How would you explain PR to your parents?

How would you explain to people what PR actually is?

After the first lectures about PR Structure and Theory there is a bit of confusion about what PR actually is and how people perceive PR. What would the average pers

on on the street answer if you asked them the question? Do they actually know what PR stands for?

Julius CaesarPerhaps most people would be surprised to know that PR goes right back to the Romans and Julius Caesar or maybe even earlier than. Can we see him as an PR innovator? Maybe we can, didn’t he use and ancient form of reputation management, stunts and shows to get people talking and writing about him?

William the Conqueror and the Normans cleverly told the story of 1066 in the Bayeux tapestry., but whose story is being told in it? Do the tapestries tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Or could they be the start of the oh so famous PR term ‘spin’?Bayeux Tapestry

A famous comment about Public Relations is: ”Public Relations was not invented by Americans and then exported elsewhere.”

But is this true?
Aren’t Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays famous for ‘inventing’ PR and aren’t these two from America? (Even though they are from America, they can be used as a good example of the start of PR to be able to come to a vague answer to the question of what PR is.)They were really at the forefront of PR at the time (even though it wasn’t really known as PR then!).

''Torches of Freedom''Bernays worked for one of the big tobacco companies in the US. He had to come up with a campaign to get women smoking as this was considered a male habit in the 1920’s. Posters that were used to persuade women showed young models smoking a cigarette in public on the arm of a famous man and lighting up a ‘Torch of Freedom’. Can this be seen as scientific persuasion or propaganda?

A quote from Edward Bernays: ”Those who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses pull the wires which control the public mind.” This can be seen as persuasion and propaganda but is it fair to say that PR can still be seen this way? Probably, if you ask UK journalist about PR people today.

Manipulation, propaganda, spin, influencing opinions and behaviour and persuasion. These are a few words that come to mind and have been used in this post when thinking of PR. Are all these words linked to PR to be seen as negative? Or could PR be seen as an important element in a democratic society?

There are so many questions surrounding PR and what it actually is. So tell me how you would explain to your parents or friends what PR is?




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