HARD COMMERCIAL EDGE OF PR 1997: The right PR spin can help overcome journalistic mistrust

Newspapers are increasingly relying on ’scoops of interpretation’ or ’spin’ in a bid to provide a daily diet of exclusives. This need to find ’exclusive angles’ is placing increasing pressure on the relationship between public relations professionals and journalists, according to Guardian media commentator Roy Greenslade.

Newspapers are increasingly relying on ’scoops of interpretation’

or ’spin’ in a bid to provide a daily diet of exclusives. This need to

find ’exclusive angles’ is placing increasing pressure on the

relationship between public relations professionals and journalists,

according to Guardian media commentator Roy Greenslade.



People in public relations need to start thinking more like journalists

and to learn how to tell complex and serious stories in a populist,

human interest way, he said.



Speaking to delegates at a workshop session on the second day of the

conference, Greenslade pointed out that the old division between ’hard

news’ and ’soft features’ is being blurred.



In a bid to boost sales broadsheets are becoming increasingly populist

in their editorial content.



’In the broadsheets there are fewer, what we might call, ’pure policy’

articles. Instead there is a demand for stories to be told through the

angle of human interest.’



Many reporters still see PR people as ’gatekeepers’ and feel that those

involved in corporate PR prevent them from getting to the real

decision-makers. ’Company chiefs in effect can hide behind their public

relations team,’ said Greenslade.



’The role of journalists and PR professionals are vastly different. We

can get along, but it will always be a struggle,’ he concluded.



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