Public Relations Tactics

Thoughts on Press Relationships

May 1, 2017

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The following is an excerpt of a column by Walter E. Schneider, director of press relations and advertising, Institute of Life Insurance, New York, from the May 1949 PR Journal:

Business — any business — has buried within its daily operationssome news, some events of human interest, some facts of general public interest. The business wants those facts known. The public wants to know them. There is an opportunity, which is, at the same time, a responsibility, to get this news of the business to the public.

But, more often, it is the [significance] of the news presented in the city editor’s own little world — or big world if that be the case — that determines whether the story is thrown away or printed. In news relations, as in public relations, every one of us must remember daily that it is the public interest, not merely our own interest, to which we must cater.

All of us must do that if our news stories are to be printed consistently and be regarded highly by editors and the public alike, and occasionally find their way to Page One. If one of our news items about an agent or an agency winds up as a one-sentence filler on Page 63, then rest assured, in most instances, that is exactly where it belonged if it got into print at all.

If the combined experience of our newspaper, PR friends and our own staff has taught us anything, it is simply that news must be interesting. Stories about little people or big people doing little things or big things still rest on that one foundation — news interest.

 

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