(image courtesy of Muslim cartoonist Khalil Bendib)
Like fire, media publicity is a good servant but a bad master.
Managed well, it focuses the glaring spotlight on neglected issues which warrant a global audience. However, extensive media and social media coverage may also lead to unwarranted consequences.
Let us examine a recent tragic news event to see how this unfolds. One that is close to everybody’s hearts.
OK, the exams are over. We parents can all relax now, right?
If anything, long holidays can be more terrifying for parents. I mean, you can’t possibly let your kid be playing computer games all day long, right? Wouldn’t his or her brain turn to mush?
The recent spate of cataclysmic events happening around our region is simply awful. To date, more than 50,000 people in the Sichuan area are either dead, missing or buried, and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar has left more than two million homeless and tens of thousands dead. As we flip the papers, page after page describes the sad story of human tragedy caused by these natural/ manmade (some say that the cyclone is due to global warming) catastrophes.
From what I understand, both incidents are still unfolding. In other words, they will continue to dominate media spaces for quite some time.
Recent newspaper reports indicated that ad expenditure in Singapore has risen by about 4% to $1.94 billion last year. This reversed an 8.3% decline the previous year before. Entertainment outlets and services were the biggest mainstream media spenders at $202.5 million. This was followed by the retail industry with $136.5 million, followed by government and social organisations at $92.4 million.
What’s surprising was that most categories have shown an improvement, with television pipping newspapers yet again as the number one choice for advertisers, while magazines showed the greatest percentage increase. On the other hand, radio advertising seemed to have fallen significantly. I suspect that this may be due to the migration of listeners away from terrestrial radio stations towards podcasts and MP3.
Here are 10 tips to improve your chances of making it into the news:
1) Understand the needs and target audiences of different media. Establish rapport with journalists and editors and speak to them to understand what they are gunning for. Which categories of stories do they normally cover? What are their editorial styles?