Entertainment vs News – PR Crisis?

    March 19, 2007

Gerald Baron, Founder and CEO, PIER System/AudienceCentral; Author, "Now Is Too Late: Survival in an Era of Instant News" made some pithy comments about the ‘news as entertainment’ trend and its effect on PR in today’s Daily Dog.

What’s wrong with this trend?

  • Too little money is available for good reporting.
  • Wall Street expectations destroying news organizations.
  • Audiences switching rapidly to new media for which there is insufficient revenue to support real journalism.
  • The line between amateurs and professional journalists is blurred and it is likely the public largely doesn’t care.
  • News is entertainment and needs to compete on the basis of what the audience wants—not what is good journalism or what should be covered.

"Public relations professionals need to understand that these desperate days for traditional media are dangerous days for corporate and organizational reputations," says Bacon. "They need to be able to respond fast, to be aggressive in attacking misinformation and bad reporting and most importantly, they need to grab onto the incredible opportunities they have to talk directly to the people whose opinion about the organization matters most to their future. Talk quick, talk with complete honestly and talk directly."

How does a web content strategy figure in all this?

"Today’s Internet tools including virtual communication centers, blogs, and communicator-controlled websites all make that possible. The desperate media environment makes it essential," advises Bacon.  And he is 100% correct..

How do you do it?

If you do not yet have a section of your website that can be controlled by the communication department this should be a priority.  The tools available today make this a no-brainer.

RSS enable this section of the site, so that your content can be syndicated across the Net.  Feeds also allow you to reach subcribers fast…

Use RSS feeds and other tools to monitor the blogs and conversations so you have your finger on the pulse and can pick up and respond to any comments or issues right away.