THE MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS. NOTES 2.

I AM THE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONAL ... I KNOW WHAT YOU NEED.


Well that’s changing.


We used to be focussed on hard news. But stories have become softer, focussed on human interest. Much less stuffy, much less formal. More jacket and open neck shirt than business suit. More middle market newspaper than broadsheet. ITV news has taken it much further, to the point where quite often only human interest tabloid style stories get on. The regional ITV programmes often do almost no business stories at all.














Both the BBC and ITV have gone down this route in an attempt to hold onto their audiences. The BBC’s done this better than ITV but overall the total market for news programmes is falling. As the number of multi-channel homes passes 50%, more people are choosing not to watch news because they see it as boring.


You’ve no idea how many companies don’t have a clue about how to pitch their stories at that sort of programme.


It’s astonishing how often we get offered the man-in-a-suit interview. And nothing else. “Oh, I’ll get our Marketing Director,” they tell us, as if to suggest we are being handed a bit of a coup to get someone so important.


For a mass audience sitting down to baked beans on toast or fighting to get the kids ready for school, that’s not what they want. They don’t care about marketing directors or project managers. And they certainly don’t care about local authority cabinet members with an inflated sense of their own importance.

























Performing on TV is a pretty peculiar challenge, it’s not quite like anything else you do. It takes a bit of practice to become any good at it. If you haven’t done it already, it really is worth getting a handful of people on a media training course, rather than facing a TV camera for real, shaking like a leaf and making yourself look suicidal in front of half the nation. The MD could do it, the project manager should do it, but so too should someone who carries tools and who wears a hard hat.


As an example, look at the train operating companies. Most of them are offering stories that are very specifically regional. For First Great Western, a good piece on the BBC’s programmes covering the Thames Valley, Bristol and the South West is of far more value than a quick 20 second mention on a national bulletin. So, many of the train operators have put their local station managers or regional bosses through a media training course. And it’s often those local people on the ground who have the direct contact with journalists face to face, rather than the PRs back in head office, because they are the people on the front line when something goes wrong.

MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS TO ATTRACT MEDIA ATTENTION, AND TO GET THE RIGHT KIND OF PUBLICITY IS NO EASY TASK WHEN DEALING WITH THE MEDIA.


THESE NOTES AND ARTICLES HAVE BEEN WRITTEN TO HELP AND INFORM PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICIALS. WE DEAL WITH ALL KINDS OF PR PEOPLE FROM THE VERY GOOD TO THE DOWNRIGHT AWFUL.


IF YOU ARE A SEASONED PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT OR A PR NEWBIE FRESH FROM UNIVERSITY, THEN THESE PAGES MAY HELP YOU WHEN DEALING WITH THE LIKES OF ME ......

COPYRIGHT 2009/2010 MEDIA ATTENTION LTD

ARTICLES MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT.

If roadworks are starting, the audience want to hear from the people who’ll be out there doing the work. They want to hear from the people who can explain the difference it will make to their daily commuting, they want to hear what is being done to minimise the disruption. They want the information to come from a man in a hard hat and yellow jacket who knows what he is talking about.


The last thing they want is a lame excuse from a glib marketing man in a chain store suit with a condescending smile. Your workmen are your most eloquent spokesmen and the audience will warm to them, believe them and trust them.