PRL Blog 614.2 8- Newsworthiness

Welcome once again!

This week in writing we discussed how to pitch a story or an event to news media. For this blog post we were asked to look at CNNABC NewsCBS NewsNY TimesHuffington PostFox NewsWashington PostMSNBC, and the LA Times. What types of stories do these organizations place on the front of their websites? Does this advocate as to which type of news is the most important, or is it only based on what the organization believes is going to catch their audience? How does this impact public relations professionals?

Looking this morning, 10/29/2011, all nine have the killing of 13 American soldiers in Kabul somewhere on their homepage. Five of the nine have the Kabul story front and center as the biggest most important thing that all visitors should read. The other four have it on the front page but not as prominently spaced. Ever since the war in Iraq has begun, it seems as though something like this has been the headline almost daily.

Other topics include:

-HALLOWEEN (probably the case since the holiday is on Monday)/seasonal stories

– Global issues

– World series

– Presidential Campaigns

– Weather


I am noticing in larger news channels, such as those named above, the information disseminated to its publics is almost identical to all the others. The only difference is where the story is placed based on importance. If these are compared to papers such as the  Boston Globe and the Post Standard (which are smaller news sources), some of the stories may be the same, but the smaller papers also focus on localized events and issues having to do with the area they serve.

Depending on the size and the credibility of the news source, the type of information they disperse may have more to do with the United States as a whole instead of smaller populations. State and town information usually won’t reach further than those it truly affects.

This means that PR professionals really need to do their research as to what communication channels would be the most effective in order to disseminate their message. When thinking about news channels, how big or small is the story? Is it relevant to a large amount of people or to the town you work in? How many people will this information impact? Once the professional has decided the kind of audience this will impact, then the practitioner can then begin to draft how they want to “pose” the story to reporters, journalists and anchors. As we learned in our media panel at SU on Wednesday, stories that have a large amount of money or something that could change history forever ( a way to diagnose Autism), will receive coverage easily. Events being hosted by an organization and such need a little more pitching. It is extremely important that a pr practitioner know how to pitch this “normal” stories.

This is one of the hardest parts of being a PR practitioner. The only way to really gain the skills needed is to continuously write pitches and build a positive relationship with the local reporters in their area. These connections could help lead to something much bigger in the future. Networking is so important, it is guaranteed no PR practitioner will succeed without it.

I hope to be able to network well enough to find connections where we can mutually benefit from one another.

Thanks for reading!

Comments? They are always welcome!


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