Category Archives: public relations

PR: No Fluffy Puppies in Today’s News Rooms

You know what you won’t find in any of America’s Television newsrooms? Fluffy puppies. Oh, I’m sure the people who work in the newsrooms own some fluffy puppies, but they believe that the audience watching the news doesn’t, nor is the audience interested in seeing any fluffy puppies.

photo courtesy of Patrick Hoesly

‘Fluffy puppies’ is a euphemism for nice news, human interest features. Stuff that doesn’t have blood and guts. That’s what the news rooms think you don’t want to see: fluffy puppies. As I was working to get publicity for local children’s book author Missy Balusek for this story on literacy, this is what one local TV newsroom told me:

They (the brass) have told us: ‘No fluffy puppies!’

Meaning, nothing that makes you feel good. And so, news directors sit eagerly by their police scanners waiting for the next criminal arrest, fire, murder or car accident. That’s what they think you would like to see on your television set as you watch the news before you go to bed. “Honey, let’s turn on the TV and see who got killed today.”

The Press Release in File 13

You have been taught that to get news coverage, you must send out a press release that follows a formula. If you do, you have a chance. According to Barbara Rozgonyi at Wired PR Works, to get your press release noticed, and potentially covered,

“It has to inform, educate and provide value to audiences and it has to be relevant.  There’s no better way to raise your relevance factor than by connecting to news and trends with your message.”

That’s part of it, but according to the news directors there has to be something more, and that something is something bad. Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little. But watch your local news tonight. How much of it makes you feel good versus making you feel bad?

Make Your Own Newsroom

Traditional media thinks that people want negativity. You and I know that’s not true. But you don’t own the newsrooms, so you have to take matters into your own hands. Make your own news.

Take your news online. Create your own Facebook page. Create a website with a news and events section. This is what the local author did and the tour was a resounding success.

Then, concentrate your efforts on the traditional channels that do want good news. The local author has received plenty of publicity, like this feature article in the Wacoan magazine. And this guest shot on the local morning TV show: Moms Every Day ..and this story in the local Waco Tribune Herald newspaper.

Let the TV news directors and Newspaper Editors bathe in their bad news. Make and spread your own good news. Go where people are smiling, and want to make other people smile.

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