In today’s 24 hour news cycle, it is vital that people understand the power and influence of the media if they wish to gain favourable coverage. Corporations, celebrities and politicians all work with PR agencies to maintain a working relationship with journalists and secure coverage in order to stay relevant.
Perhaps nobody has illustrated the idea of staying “relevant” better than socialites Kim Kardashian and Katie Price – two women with very little talent who have used the media to advance their careers. And while big businesses such as Microsoft, GE and Coca Cola view the media landscape from a different perspective to Kardashian at al, the end goal is always the same – to receive positive media coverage and as often as possible.
Adapting to the 24 hour news cycle and staying relevant can be best observed by paying attention to political affairs in the US right now with the 2016 presidential election on the horizon. Candidates from both parties, in particular the Republican Party, have been trying to stay in the race by securing media attention in an effort to raise their profiles.
With a record 17 candidates vying for the Republican nomination in the United States, candidates have recognsed the need to do something to stand out in a crowded field. But to do this, a politician must do something out of the ordinary to get attention as news is constantly recycled with producers and editors always looking for the latest piece of infotainment. This has led to a number of questionable campaign advertisements during the current campaign since is started back in autumn. Here is a Ted Cruz ad that was aired when the nominations process first kicked into gear, in which he eats bacon off a machine gun:
Not long after, Senator Lindsey Graham then released an advert destroying his mobile phone in a variety of ways. Graham, who had his phone number read out by opponent Donald Trump at a campaign rally, attempted to capitalise on a potentially embarrassing moment by raising attention for his candidacy through an unorthodox campaign advert:
Whilst many in PR would never suggest going as far as the two campaign advertisements above, they both illustrate how important it is today to garner media attention. In order to do this, it is about being fresh, original and interesting. Content needs to grab the audience’s attention. It cannot afford to be stale and mundane – that is why large corporations spend thousands on advertisements and publicity stunts every year.
In order to succeed with the media, you need to understand its reach and power. It is important to know what makes interesting news and how the cycle works today.
by Joe Paley