“Never worry about bad press: All that matters is if they spell your name right.” -Kate Hudson
This summer when I was working in parliament, the deputy I was working for received some bad press. It wasn’t the truth. While the newspaper apologized and fixed it, my boss said this: “if they are saying something bad about you, you know you’re doing something right.”
Good press/bad press, is there really such a thing? I’m serious. I’m going to be flat out honest and say I truly don’t know. I just started a media ethics class this semester so I have no idea. I thought I did but after my second class I wasn’t so sure.
People normally perceive the media as dishonest, their version of the truth, etc. I can tell you right now that isn’t always the truth. Did you know the New York Times has an ethics code over 140 pages long? Yes, most ethics codes are not even near that. However, it doesn’t mean the media is a cesspool of sleazy journalists. We went to college people! We studied the art of journalism for four years! Was it easy? No. I am a junior and I went to bed at 2 a.m. last night because I had class until 9 p.m. It was also the second day of class.
Ok, paparazzi are one spectrum. They follow important public figures around and try to find dirt because it sells. Be honest, most Americans love a scandal. It’s what some people thrive on. Sad? Yes, but you can’t change people.
If you look back at the 20s and 30s, that was sleazy journalism. Remember yellow journalism? Journalists today are much, much more ethical than they were back then. Are we saints? No. Do I have a conscience? Yes. The point of all this is, publicity can be good or bad. I do agree with my boss in the way that even though you are doing something right as a public figure, the press will still find something. Not all journalists are sleazy. It’s not the only field with sleaze-balls in it…. Wall Street, lawyers…. there are sleazy people everywhere and in every profession. Your job as a reader? Determine who is who, once you do that correctly you’ll see the beauty that is journalism.
These flats are ruining my feet because I am tripping every five seconds. I swear the bricks on college green move! However, I am not walking around a cobblestone campus in heels… that would hurt more.
Posted in Public Relations
Tagged Ethics, journalism, Journalist, Kate Hudson, Media, New York Times, Parliament, Public relations, publicity, United States, Wall Street
When on LinkedIn you put press releases as a skill, when in reality it should be a work of art that is displayed. I have written many in my few years at OU and it truly is an artwork. Now I could make this into a press release “how to” but instead I’m going to just say a few things that are key when writing a press release.
The 5 W’s: All journalists should know what this means. Who, what, when, where, and why? In the first few words of your press release you should have most if not all of these covered.
Keep it concise: Do you know how many press releases reporters/editors get on a daily basis? I don’t know either but I have a feeling it’s almost unimaginable and reporters/editors don’t want to read a press release that is longer than it should be. Remember they are going to write the story, not you. Word to the wise: just give the basics and let them do the rest of the work (It has worked so far at my internship).
Fresh and new is better than conventional: I am a firm believer in this notion. Your language shouldn’t be boring, blah and conventional. The language in the press release should be fresh. If I was a reporter and had to read the, “I’m the same thing every time press release” every single day, I’d probably throw your press releases in the rubbish bin. The format should be conventional but as long as you get the information across in a concise manner and is received well; you did a good job.
Always edit at least 3 times: Editing is KEY. If there is a mistake… rubbish bin. If you are in journalism or public relations you should know how to edit and understand you have to do it over and over again. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes can be costly. If you hate grammar like I do, just use your AP Style Book… which you better have in your desk drawer.
These are just a few things I recommend. Is it everything that I could have said, no. I do believe press releases are a work of art because the first one I wrote was similar to a 5-year old’s stick figure drawing. Practice makes perfect, so if you want to write the Mona Lisa of press releases, remember these tips and practice.
P.S. Going to Northern Ireland this weekend, should I pack my heels? I just might…
P.P.S. I took the picture of the mona lisa when I was fourteen, needless to say it was difficult and I had to crawl under people.