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June 23, 2011 / littleblondelulu

Chapter 9; PR’s Social Graces with the Media

Chapter nine in The Practice of Public Relations, by Fraser P. Seitel, reviews the critical relationship and etiquette between PR professionals and the media. There are different rules for different types of media and Seitel’s guidelines make it easier to navigate the basics of these relationships. Although it is sad that newspapers have desperately struggled as a result of the internet, there are some positives that come from more news feeds on the internet, and with minute to minute news updates, it seems like the internet would provide PR professionals with greater opportunity for publicity and recognition. However, Seitel asserts that even with the drop of sales, newspapers are still of top importance to public relations practitioners.

Seitel also points out the all too familiar theme of the news only covering the negative. He further discusses that company CEO’s often question the objectivity and reliability of reporters to inform the public accurately. Seitel quotes a Washington Post columnist, who blames the American public for their outweighed interest in the negative over the positive, “We are only incidentally bringing truth to the world – although don’t get me wrong, from time to time we manage to do just that. But most journalists most of the time are just trying to give the public what it wants – and much of the time, the public wants trash” (p.172). For public relations professionals this statement is important for many reasons.

 

 

Public Relations professionals have a difficult time to begin with, when trying to get positive media coverage of their company, and with the American public primarily interested in “trash” it seems unlikely to gain positive media coverage. In addition, in the off chance a company does get positive media coverage, the interest and impact on the public will likely be minimal. Seitel makes a very good argument on how publicity is better than advertising for PR practitioners and their employer when dealing with the media however advertising seems inevitable in order to succeed due to the low probability in frequently, let alone ever gaining positive publicity from the media.

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