Newsworthiness in Public Relations

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I examined news stories on CNN and ABC News. The top news from both sites was about Sochi 2014 Olympics.  First, CNN has a news story about Tom Perkins’ suggesting that only taxpayers should have the right to vote on Thursday on the top of its front page. Then most of news stories are related to the winter Olympic games. ABC News had stories about Valentines’ day and people who were found dead or injured. Also, winter Olympic games were the top stories.

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I went to all nine sites to see the trends of news media. Most of them contained stories about what’s currently happening now.  All sites had a common stories about the Olympics and Valentines’ day.  There were a lot of feature stories about Valentines’ day, and most of stories related to Olympics included video clips. Those days, news stories are more focused on readers – stories about what public would be interested and read.  I think all stories are newsworthy because it is focused on the public’s interests.  If they covered more stories about politics and economics on their front pages, people would loose their interests on reading other articles and move their attention to other sites that contained more stories that are currently happening and grasping their attentions.

Public relations professionals should pitch stories based on public’s interests so that they can grasp more viewers.  There are some characteristics that make stories newsworthy.

1. Impact: The significance, importance, or consequence of an event or trend; the greater the consequence, and the larger the number of people for whom an event is important the greater the newsworthiness.

2. Timeliness: The more recent, the more newsworthy. In some cases, timeliness is relative. An event may have occurred in the past but only have been learned about recently.

3. Prominence: Occurrences featuring well-know individuals or institutions are newsworthy. Well-knownness may spring either from the power the person or institution possess – the president, the Speaker of the House of Representatives – or from celebrity – the late Princess Diana or fashion designer Gianni Versace.

4. Proximity: Closeness of the occurrence tot he audience may be gauged either geographically – close by events, all other things being equal, are more important than distant ones – or in terms of the assumed values, interest and expectations of the news audience.

5. The Bizarre: The unusual, unorthodox, or unexpected attracts attention. Boxer Mike Tyson’s disqualification for biting off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear moves the story from the sports pages and the end of a newscast tot he front pages and the top of the newscast.

6. Conflict: Controversy and open clashes are newsworthy, inviting attention on their own, almost regardless of what the conflict is over. Conflict reveals underlying causes of disagreement between individuals and institutions in a society.

7. Currency: Occasionally something becomes an idea whose time has come. The matter assumes a life of its own, and for a time assumes momentum in news reportage.

8. Human Interest: Those stories that have more of an entertainment factor versus any of the above – not that some of the other news values cannot have an entertainment value.

( Retrieved from http://vegeta.hum.utah.edu/communication/classes/news.html.)

Most of news sites are handling all these elements well.  Especially “ Human interest” is the key factor that makes news worthy. Today, more and more people value what they care about.  People sometimes think that human-interest stories disregard the main rules of newsworthiness, but I believe people tend to read stories that evoke responses and emotions. Those stories are appealing to emotions. Stories about Olympics and Valentines Day are on the front page of the sites, and these will make readers to be more interested in reading other types of news such as politics, economics and crimes.

3 ways that social media has influenced Public Relations

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Today social media is huge, and we are living in a world with it. Public relations has taken benefits from the appearance of social media platforms, and social media changed games for the public relations practitioners. It has helped us to have two-way communications from one-way communications, disseminate audiences and effectively have interactions with the key audiences. Social media platforms have been a core tool that public relations practitioners use, and it has been changing the way that public relations practitioners communicate with their key audiences and publics.

Social media has allowed a real-time communication with key audiences. Since social media appeared, public relations practitioners’ have been able to reach to their audiences in real-time and give them quick responses. This communication has helped to form and maintain close relationships with targeted audiences. Moreover, this real-time communication is used as both proactive and reactive communications. When crisis happens, social media is used as a form of reactive communication tool, but it could be used as s proactive communication tool before crisis happens.

 Social media has helped public relations practitioners to straightly communicate with their key audiences.  Before social media was created, public relations practitioner created traditional means such as pamphlets and website. This was made to communicate with their audiences, but there were limitations on reaching out to their publics. Since social media was created, this straight communication allowed companies to go viral even without any traditional media outlets. The greatest benefit of the straight communication is that it allowed many small businesses to experience viral sensations and constantly engage with the public.

 Social media has allowed monitoring opinions of key publics. Public relations practitioners are able to access and monitor publics’ opinions about their companies and stakeholders. They become easier to gather information and comments from their key audiences. With enormous data, public relations practitioners could generate better communication and PR strategies detailed.

Social media already changed games for public relations practitioners, but there will be more positive influences generated by social media platforms on public relations. As social media platforms are developing, public relations will be developed.

Hannah Jonesse : Live with Passion

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This story is about a fun loving  girl, Hannah Jonesse. From her young age, she learned the values of family and the importance of sharing and caring for people around her. Born in a family with various background, Hanna Jonasse was shaped as who she is now – fun, extraordinary, spontaneous, passionate and warmhearted girl. She is Dutch, Irish, French – Canadian, German and Native American living in Webster, NY, and is currently a sophomore majoring in Public Relations and Earth Science at Syracuse University.

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On December 5th, Hannah is ready to enjoy one of her favorite traditions. It is the Saint Nicholas Day which the Dutch version of Christmas! Hannah loves putting out all wooden shoes on the front porch, and seeing the shoes filled with candy, toys, and other gifts in the next morning. Like this Christmas fairy tale, as growing up, Hannah experienced more traditions than any people did.

Experiencing different traditions has given her different perspectives about things that she sees. Hannah is always exited to explore the world that she belongs to and learn different cultures with different languages. She is planning to study abroad in Australia next semester, and excited about  working in Toronto International Film Festival this coming fall. She currently participates in scuba diving club, NSCS, Alpha Xi Delta and PRSSA. Her sorority life is what she actively participates and has made many memories for the life in Syracuse

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Her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, is where she met her roommate Jordan Riddick and her absolute best friends at Syracuse University. She and her roommate love to do something spontaneously. It is how she and her roommate have memories of each other and make their college life super interesting and unforgettable. Last year, they decided to trip to the NYC , did it at the spur of the moment and drove to the city.  When they got back to Syracuse, it was at 4 in the morning.

But, there are  also the other side of her which is having seriousness. She is passionate about having knowledge in  the environment, energy issues, women’s rights and animal protection from abuse. She truly cares about every relationships that she has and what she can do to help  others and places where she lives.

Hanna said “when I was in 5th grade my parents surprised us on Christmas morning with a letter for each of us. When we opened them it said that we were going on a surprise trip to a secret location and our other Christmas presents were clues as to where we were going/what we were going to do. This is my favorite memory of childhood.”  I see Hanna as a fun, extraordinary and warmhearted girl, and I believe all her great traits are from the relationship that she had with her parents and family. Not everyone has this kinds of relationship and family experiences like Hannah had, and this is special. So thus, Hanna.

For more information about Hanna Jonasse, visit her blog.

The Future of Me in PR Fields

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What I want to be in the future… That’s a hard question that I can’t answer right away. Right now, I have no idea what I want to be. To be honest, as a public relations major student, I do not even know I am passionate about going into a PR field. I am just not sure. Before I wanted to be a person who works under government because I believed it’s worth working for the nation and the people: “ the greatest good for the greatest number.”

But, as I am growing up, I realized that I am not that smart enough to be a government person because I totally lacks of interests in politics, laws and international relations. Now, I guess I want to study more about business and public relations and do entertainment or corporate public relations.

I think entertainment and corporate public relations both have more potential to grow compared to other fields of public relations. The major reason I am attracted to those fields is that I at least love studying topics related to entertainments and business.

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After graduating Newhouse, I hope to find a job that is related to public relations. This working experience will give me a sense whether I want to keep working in the PR fields or I want to go to graduate school to study more about media or business.  I thought working for a PR agency would be better because I can have many opportunities to meet different types of clients rather than working in a PR department at a company.

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However, last summer, when I worked at Porter Novelli in Korea, I realized that working in a PR agency is not worth staying and dedicating my passion and intelligence. At that time, I did marketing and promotion for Philips Electronics, which is the Netherland’s best known electronic brand.  I helped preparing for three press conferences for launching new products. As  working under people who did not study public relations, I totally learned nothing from them and saw all the bad sides of public relations such as a hype.  It was worth working, but a bad experience for me as a public relations major student.

I hope to have an internship this summer at another PR agency or a company that has a PR department. I would like to have more valuable PR experiences and figure out how I want to set my career path. I do not know what future holds for me, but I believe one day I will finally find what I am passionate about.  Sometimes, life will give me obstacles that may seem unfair or too extreme to overcome.  I believe I will have strengths to overcome every single obstacles and find my own voice.

You Jin Alexia Jeong

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You Jin Alexia Jeong is an undergraduate student in the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is a junior majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Economics, class of 2014.

 Alexia was born in South Korea. When she was eighteen, her parents decided to send her to the United States for a better education and broad perspective about the world. Also, she wanted to challenge herself in a new world she always dreamed of going. She attended Fairmont Prep Academy in Anaheim, CA, as a junior.

 Alexia started school knowing only several English sentences. She had a hard time adopting a new life and communicating with people, but she put her best efforts to survive. To improve her English and leadership, she applied for a position in the Associated Student Body (ASB) at her school. She was elected as Cultural Awareness Executive.

 After high school, she has been attending Syracuse University to perceive her dream of becoming an anchor. She has fallen in love with Public Relations after interning at a Korean PR and advertising firm. She is an international ambassador at the Office of Admissions at Syracuse University. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, and of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Also, she participates in PRSSA chapter at Syracuse University.

Her particular interest is politics and government relations PR. She is also interested in corporate PR. Last summer she interned for the Porter Novelli in Korea as an account executive, and participated in media conferences for the client, Philips Electronics. Although her career goals are not quite set, Alexia wants to go to graduate school to study public affairs and policy studies after spending some times at a corporate PR agency in the U.S.

Ethics in Public Relations

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“What is ethics or morally right?” The question of what “ethical” means is hard to determine because it depends on people’s values and their undergoing circumstances.  People want to be right and honest as possible, but there are situations that shake our judgments and give uncertainty about our decisions. The code of ethics is one of the critical roles that the PR professionals should face in reality. In the business world, we sometimes need to lie for our own goods or good of others.

Michael Meath, a professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, teaches a course named The Ethics of Advocacy for Public Relations. He was gave a lecture on “Thursday Ethics,” which means that corporations have difficulties in making ethical decisions on Thursday because decision-making gets more difficult as the week goes on.

 Professor Meath defined ethics as a systematic attempt that makes sense of our individual social moral experience. In order to be successful in business and Public Relations, professionals need to have and fulfill three elements: strategy, integrity, and communication. The major discussion for students during this lecture was what ethics is and what decisions can be made when they face given situations that they cannot easily give right decisions.

He said that being ethical is even harder when more people are involved in a decision.  To ethically make right decisions, a two-way communication is more influential and powerful than having a one-way communication.  As positions get higher up and more professional, ethics plays a big role in regards to one’s responsibility.

Personal frame, education, experiences are the factors that people get their ethics from. Personal frame is what continues to develop as people go through their lives and education. Those undergoing education and life become experienced. Also, these different lived experienced causes people to have different perspectives.

As the lecture processed, professor Meath questioned whether business was fundamentally moral or not.  A student answered that business is fundamentally moral since PR practitioners can give others the perception that it is moral and ethical. In my perspective, business is meant to be moral, but certain factors such as money and human interactions can easily make it immoral.

Professor Meath suggested that business is a human activity that is an important part of society. Since it is a human activity, ethical problems arise because people have different views. Being moral is generally forgotten in the world of business, and society dictates business as social enterprise.

The lecture was concluded with points that suggested people should not deny their personal frames and instincts; instead, they should tell people what their ethical views on certain issues are.  As people practice decision-making, people can improve their decision-making ethically.