PR Shaping the News
For the second part of this assignment, you must watch or read any three of the following. All your sources for this assignment must be current (within the past week or current month for magazines).
- A morning network news show (like the Today Show)
- A local news show
- A national news show
- A daytime/late night talk show
- An entertainment show (like Entertainment Tonight)
- A magazine
- A newspaper
You must choose two television programs and one print source. Non-television owners can choose three print sources. All three sources must be different. Please watch the shows live or recorded and/or read actual newspapers or magazines. Don’t just go to their website and find stories. It is important for you to see how PR flows through a news, talk, or entertainment program or a newspaper/magazine. Blogs (like the Huffington Post) and trade publications are not acceptable sources for this assignment.
Then, create a list of all the examples of public relations in each of the television programs you watched or newspapers/magazines you read. By “public relations,” I mean any story that seems that it originated because a public relations professional placed it there. Advertising, commercials, or any other form of paid placement are not to be included. PR stories are generally positive and promotional. Stay away from PR crises or political stories, which are generally news, not PR. Also don’t include content from late show host monologues.
Find 10 stories across the three media you watch/read that seem to be placed as a result of the work of a PR professional. (You can add a fourth source if you can’t locate 10 in your three sources.) Number each example. Your list should include the source, the date/time, and a brief description of the PR example, which might be the headline if in print or just a brief summary of the story if on TV. Finally, provide a one-sentence explanation for each example of why you think this is public relations. You cannot use more than three examples that are celebrities or regular people plugging a project, such as a movie, album, or book.
Note: Remember you are looking for stories that seem to have been motivated by PR people, not stories related to the PR industry. PR stories are generally positive. Refer back to the Getting Started assignment for more examples.