Friday, September 19, 2003

Media Around the World - We Aren't Bribable!

A friend of mine and I have been working together on projects, and she realized she needed to do a one-pager on media for clients based outside the United States. I think it's a great piece that really explains how the US media does differ from it's European and Asian counterparts.

I'm keeping it on hand to use for different POP! PR new business pitches to help educate clients on the media. Explaining the media to non-media people seems to be one of the more difficult things to explain - that just because you run an ad does not mean you get coverage, or that not all pitches mean coverage.

And, it's fitting that PR Week has an article today that talks about how the US media made the top 5 for the least bribable in the world, and wasn't far off from being tops. Go US! And, even more chest pouding for how great the US media is, the reason we didn't finish first if the freedom of press and the liberties the press has in the United States

Thanks Joey! You rock!

American-based journalists tend to be very fair and objective in their reporting, whether reviewing products or writing a feature article.

Most U.S. writers and editors are not easily swayed by outside influences; however, like most things, it depends on the publication and its target audience.

They do, however, like to develop and maintain good relationships with vendors, manufacturers, product managers and public relations teams. They appreciate communications people who know the market and can respect how they work. All journalists like receiving advance or breaking news ahead of their competitors.

Depending on the personality or the publication, editors/writers will be aggressive and probe into issues, particularly when they feel they are not being told the entire story, or have heard stories through the rumor mill. Though a lot of journalists cover a wide range of topics and issues, they do have specific subjects and beats they are interested in or write about with more passion.

All writers and editors ask that everyone be aware of their target audience, the “voice” of the publication and how they work. They appreciate it when senior executives are available to speak with them, discuss industry trends and paint an overall picture of the industry.

Many journalists at larger business and consumer-based publications are not allowed to accept gifts, trips or meals. Many newsroom policies do not allow for this type of practice, as it may “bias” the reporter/writer/editor. However, most trade publications and general consumer publications have writers/editors that will take meals and gifts, but with the understanding that it does not guarantee media coverage in the publication. Companies offer trips and gifts as a way to build relationships with the editorial staff.

There are a number of freelance writers that write for multiple publications in the consumer and trade space. These writers can take one topic and “sell” the story to various outlets. Freelance writers are also hired by publications to write, as in-house staff is, at times, limited. They cover everything from new products to feature stories, depending on the scope of the article and their background.

There are limitless number of publications in the U.S. market, covering a broad spectrum of topics and interests. From daily papers in major metropolitan cities (Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune) and specialty magazines focusing on one topic (House Beautiful, Dog Fancy, Autograph Collector Magazine) to general consumer (men’s, women’s, youth, ethnic, gay/lesbian) and business publications (Newsweek, Time), there are editors and writers who cover just about everything. Industry analysts are also counted among the journalist group, as many research firm and their analysts write newsletters to their clients about the latest news, technologies and products. Journalists also turn to these analysts for industry insight.

U.S. journalists will cover stories wherever news breaks. Many of the larger publications have beat reporters that cover singular topics or regions. From press conferences to media tours, the writers and editors will take time to meet with companies and find out the latest information.


Joey rocks, doesn't she? BIG LOVE to Joey.
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