Chapter 13: Producing Your Own News
Be a Gatekeeper
Suggestions for newsworthy content from others within your organization can be a great source of information, but Gleason says that is not a substitute for your own decision and thought process. It’s easy to have someone on your staff come to you and say, “I want to see this in the paper” but it’s important to recognize that you aren’t an order taker. You don’t say, “OK, I’m gonna go do that.” You sit down and ask the questions:
- Why does our community need to know about this?
- What’s special, what’s unique?
- What can we educate people on?
- Should we comment on this? Do we really have something helpful to share or does it look opportunistic?
“It’s really easy when you’re working in PR to really just be a mouthpiece for the people who want their message out there, but being critical and being that person to ask the tough question and really get in your audience’s head and ask why do I care?”
Gleason says these questions help her team decide what news to pursue rather than jumping on every trend. The process involves digging down to the crux of what the audience needs to know and wants to know and then presenting it in a way that will engage them and keep them reading or listening to your message.