I read this in the Monday Morning Memo from Wizard Academy:
"Whether you read a newspaper, watch TV or follow the news online, only 14 percent of the stories you hear were developed by journalists defining an issue and pursuing it.
A staggering 86 percent of the stories were fed to broadcasters by official sources and press releases.
In 1960 there were only three-fourths as many PR people as there were journalists.
Today the ratio is 5 to 1."
- The Death and Life of American Journalism, by John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney
So, PR folks greatly outnumber journalists and most of what you think is news… isn’t.
I may sound cynical, but if you’ve ever been interviewed, you know how often they get things wrong.
I completely understand why companies and high profile individuals have PR departments or publicists.
It’s just self-defense. Why trust your image to someone else… someone with their own vested interest, or even prejudices?
Writing interesting stories is easy for people who write interesting songs. It’s easier than writing songs actually.
Make your press releases easy to copy-and-paste so that the person “writing” the peace has plenty of good material. In time they may start asking for more material. Or they may offer you a column.
Mike Nesmith figured this out years ago. He predicted 24 hour news channels and MTV. He was in the band “The Monkeys” and was doing what MTV does back in the 70’s. He said content would be the critical factor in the success of these news outlets and they would source from wherever they could.
Start writing your own press releases. Who knows you better than you?