News Management in PR: Get your story out there!

18 April 2017

Sad but true fact: We have passed the halfway point. Over the course of four weeks the Coopr staff has bombarded us with everything there is to know about the field of Public Relations, ranging from crazy (effective) brainstorming techniques to the do’s and don’ts of Facebook. Not to mention the endless personal anecdotes (shit storms, shit storms, and more shit storms), and cutting edge food (I ate tofu for the first time ever, what a time to be alive). And yet again, this week’s session did not fail to surprise.

If you do not inhabit a desolate island nor abstain from the Internet (for some odd reason, obviously), the subject of ‘fake news’ should definitely sound familiar. We massively use social media as our prime news source, depending on the oh-so reliable newsfeed for our daily bits of info on the world around us. But who says what you are reading is true? Fake news is spreading like wildfire, falsely informing users on important topics such as politics. Whether intentionally or accidentally, the phenomenon definitely does not add to our trust in media and journalism. A bit of a problem for the average PR firm, I would say.

Session five of the Coopr Academy revolved around news management, a topic central to PR practices and especially interesting given these recent developments.  As we soon learned, news creation is key. If your strategy is to succeed, you have to create a captivating story and get it out there! Coopr’s Monique and Marlous shared essential info on news creation and storytelling, teaching us the best way to tackle journalists (take them for coffee, even if they do not want to, really, it will stick) and the ever-feared interviews (buy time, prepare, amaze). With the first of April just behind us, we lingered on the topic of April fools jokes. Important lesson learned: It is all right to mess around on occasions like these, but never lie to the press (shit storm prevention 101).

As a means of practicing interviews on behalf of a PR firm, Marcel grilled (this is an understatement, the guy really knows his intimidating interviewing techniques) Celeste, Maurits, and myself about Warsteiner Alkoholfrei and Warsteiner Radler. Slightly embarrassing… Being cornered is definitely not something I am used to, which led to me not handling the experience as gracefully as I would have wanted (read: tomato face). Nonetheless, it’s really interesting to be confronted with a difficult PR situation in an educational setting! It can only go up from here right?

p.s. If anyone ever wishes to blackmail me, the whole thing was caught on tape.

Looking forward to session six!