How Do You Read A Story?

My time on the Taylor Bennett Foundation programme continues to be an exciting and knowledgeable experience. I have a clear understanding of how PR works and as week nine draws to a close, I begin to analyse media as a PR specialist. I started to focus on how stories in national papers could be used for great PR opportunities and thought why not share my ideas with others growing/starting out in this field.

Through my fantastic journey into the industry there are two important strategies I have discovered: reactive and proactive PR. Reactive PR is when a public relation strategy is executed in response to a news story that has not been deliberately placed in media by the PR company itself. Proactive on the other hand is a more controlled strategy that is purposely placed to set a particular agenda for the campaign. It was during my review of The Sun newspaper that I noticed stories that could be used for possible PR opportunities – in other words REACTIVE PR!

In the news this week, a tragic story was featured involving a young teen who died after taking an ecstasy pill called “MasterCard”. This tragic story could be used to push a campaign by the National Crime Agency. The NCA are opponents of illegal drugs and could use this unfortunate story to push out a national campaign against illegal substances that are being supplied to vulnerable teenagers. The NHS and Talk to Frank could also use this story to foster awareness of the dangers of using drugs and remind users that there is help available.

Another key story that could be used covers the story of 12,000 unaccompanied kids under the age of thirteen flooding into Europe from war-ridden countries like Afghanistan and Syria. This particular news story could be used by UNICEF, a organisation that specialises in supporting disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded children. The heart-breaking story could push out a powerful campaign raising awareness of the young children being affected by current events taking place in the world.

Moving onto more light-hearted subjects, I continued to read The Sun and came across another two stories that could be used as great PR opportunities. The first was of Geordie Shore’s Chantelle Connelly and the rumours of her being romantically involved with boxing champion Anthony Joshua. This could be great for the show as Chantelle Connelly is fairly new to the programme and therefore pushing this further could create a buzz around the whole story Chantelle of dating a hot athlete – Anthony Joshua!!

Finally, Leicester winning the premier league has to be one of the most unexpected victories that has taken place in 2016 and the second story that could be beneficially used by companies like Kleenex and Homebase. I know right now you’re probably thinking “how, why and what am I on about?!?”, but I’m telling you this could work. Kleenex could push out a “tears of joy” campaign cementing its brand in the market as number one for tissue quality. Homebase could also promote its Homebase range through the theme of being better than expected by using Leicester’s victory as a template for the campaign.

PR is many things but for me it is exciting and stimulates my creativity. Having completed nine weeks, I now feel confident enough to analyse how the news could be used in either a reactive or proactive form, looking at different sectors whether its corporate, consumer or entertainment.

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