Slow news day = PR person’s best friend


This past weekend I filled in as a reporter and it was quite challenging considering the fact that absolutely nothing “newsworthy” was happening. The newsroom can be a morbid place – unfortunately, bloodshed and controversey usually make for great headlines and there was very little of that Easter long weekend.

However, there were tons of events going on. Trying to reach a reporter or editor in a newsroom to pitch a story/event/launch/etc. can be difficult when murders, sex scandal and a possible TTC strike are going on. The newsroom I work in receives so many media releases and phone calls from PR people and most of the time the event doesn’t get covered because there’s just no time in the newscast or the reporters are covering something else.

I love the fact that I work in a newsroom and am a PR student as well. I get the best of both worlds.

This past Saturday I learned that a slow news day is a blessing for a PR person because it means their event/announcement/etc. may be the lead story and/or it gets more coverage than it would have had it not been a slow news day.

There was a multiple shooting that day, but no one died, no one was in critical condition and there was no “new angle” that we could take (ie. young girl is only witness). So my editor didn’t bother sending me to the police division or to the crime scene. What he did do was ask me to cover a story about World Water Day and a program launched by UNICEF called the Tap Project. 

UNICEF’s Tap Project was launched on the same day as Wolrd Water Day (March 22, 2008) and will run until the end of the week. Diners at participating restaurants will be asked to add $1 to their bill for the water they usually receive for free. The money collected during the project will go towards providing third world countries with clean water.

For your viewing pleasure…

I went to the restaurant where the PR people were meeting with media and covered the event. I wasn’t the only person from a well-known media outlet there. I did the interviews, got my tape and went back to produce the piece – at this point it was already 3 p.m.

I filed in time for the piece to air at 4 p.m. and all of my voicers ran until midnight – it was the lead story.
I also filed pieces about the initiative before I left to go to the event – so UNICEF received coverage starting at around 12:30 p.m. (Not bad!)

A slow news day for a reporter means digging through media releases trying to find something “newsworthy.”

A slow news day for a PR person means putting up with phone calls from the media trying to find something “newsworthy.”


1 Comment »

  1. […] strikes – a slow news day and a pressing producer.  That said, curveball pitches are great for slow news days […]

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