Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

What is news?

Posted on | September 5, 2006 | No Comments

News ain’t what it used to be. With the proliferation of free publishing tools and a potential worldwide audience at your fingertips thanks to your ISP, you too can be a reporter/editor/publisher. This is a good thing, but the Internet and its habits (surprise!) have changed the way news is defined. In an earlier post we noted how the blogosphere relies primarily on old media feeds for its link-tos. I suspect too that today’s old media reporters are beginning to rely too much on links as well, as reporting becomes blogging.

This thread came to me last week as I was attending a party for Philips Semiconductors, which has spun itself out as NXP. My publication was overrepresented with three editors (maybe they’re overly fond of free food and drink!). Few other media outlets showed. Now to be fair, there wasn’t much of a turnout from Philips executives either. Not that that was telegraphed beforehand. But what struck me was regardless, if you’re in the business of reporting you gotta get out there and report, search for the serendipitous, the offhand comment at a reception that leads to a scooplet or becomes the heart of a big trend story later. You can’t report by watching the Internet all day. That’s stenography (or, as my son just said, “the lazy man’s job.”)

But it’s a two-way street. Companies in our sector increasingly look at the ROI of getting out of their offices and meeting the press. If it doesn’t turn into coverage, they’re loathe to do it.

I leaned on a Valley pr man for some feedback. He talked anonymously because he likes his job.

The experienced ones are willing to put in the time to develop relationships ith editors and publications. The clients that don’t have PR experience tend to shoot themselves in the foot with their PR programs. They don’t listen to counsel on how to work with the media (ignore lead times, put out releases of little substance, don’t make time for interviews, etc.).

Maybe, I’m old school but news is something new. You don’t generate news by writing about something that’s already online. And if you’re a company, you’re not going to get great coverage unless you get in front of editors. Sure, you’ll get coverage on your press release (hell, a press release is defined as news by most people now!) but press releases are like M&Ms: Too much of it ain’t healthy.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 17th, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

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