Public relations professionals act on behalf of their organization or client, so their role is to be an advocate for that brand. This role often includes providing information to the media in the hope that it will be published. It also can mean bypassing media gatekeepers and publishing newsworthy information directly to intended audiences in ways that may attract media attention as a byproduct.
Finding and creating newsworthy information requires a firm understanding of:
- News values – timeliness, prominence, proximity, significance, unusualness, human interest, conflict, newness
- News angles – what is going to be most interesting to a journalist and his/her audience
- How to break through a sea of clutter and competing messages
After working as a producer at Channel 10 news for 13 years, Missy Gleason moved from journalism into media relations and brand journalism. She works for OhioHealth, a large health system based in Central Ohio, and is now the managing editor of the OhioHealth wellness blog and newsroom. Over 100 OhioHealth employees work in communications, broken up into teams for media relations, marketing, internal communication, digital marketing, events/sponsorships and creative services.
Gleason transitioned fairly easily from journalism to public relations because many of the same skills used for telling stories in a newsroom can be applied within a corporation, with a different audience in mind:
- Digging for a story
- Asking the right questions
- Helping somebody who doesn’t do this job on a daily basis understand what your mission is and what you’re helping them accomplish.
- Being objective
- Looking at everything from the audience’s point of view
In the video below, Gleason shares her experience finding and making news in journalism as well as public relations.