Chapter 4: Finding and Making News

Chapter 4 addressed the issues of making, finding, and creating news. It discussed the necessary components of successful news stories, which include timeliness, prominence, proximity, significance, unusualness, human interest, conflict, and newness. It explained how to find news via internal and external news sources (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques). Internal news sources, which come from within an organization, include:

1) Important papers, such as policy statements, annual reports, organizational charts, sales projections, etc.

2)Periodicals- current and past issues of employee newsletters and magazines

3) Clipping files- published articles and online postings about the organization and the industry

4) Other published materials- copies of the organization’s brochures, speeches, slide presentations, videotapes, and sales material (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

External news sources can come from almost anywhere. All news events can be used to create news, but the trick is that you must think of applications to your particular organization or industry on a moment’s notice to take advantage of timeliness. Other external sources include polls and surveys, census reports, trade media, financial analyst reports, findings of governmental commissions, sales figures for entire industries, and updates on competitors (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).

Next, the chapter explores the many ways to create news. It offers tips for developing your creative instincts. The following tips are some that were helpful to me:

1) Stop saying or thinking “No.” Be more open to possibilities.

2) Keep things in perspective and, at the same time, try to expand your horizons.

3) Don’t be put off by rules that may not even exist. Don’t limit your thinking.

4) Inspiration comes easiest to a rested mind. Escape, on occasion, from the daily grind.

5) Don’t just look for information and ideas in the “normal” places.

The numerous ways to create  and generate news discussed in the text include brainstorming, special events, contests, polls and surveys, top 10 lists, product demonstrations, stunts, rallies and protests, personal appearances via talk shows and satellite media tours, and giving and receiving awards (Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques).


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