Public Relations in the Age of Sinclair

April 16, 2018

With all of the twists and turns of our industry, the art and science of media relations has remained one of the cornerstones of public relations. At the intersection of dwindling news rooms and hype cycles, the best PR pros work in tandem with journalists to inform their readers about true and compelling news.

Editorial articles have been the north star of many PR strategies and often make or break your relationship with your client. Why? Beyond bylined articles or content marketing, a news article provides third-party validation from a trusted and impartial source – the media.

What happens when the media is no longer impartial or trusted? How does public relations play into that, and given recent revelations of inequality in the media, how should we move forward?

These are some of the questions we have been asking ourselves since last week, when we learned about local anchors at Sinclair Broadcasting, including one of our hometown channels, reciting an identical script during the evening news.

It reminded me of that scene from A Wrinkle in Time when the kids are all bouncing balls in unison. Can you say creepy? As we say here at Barokas, “that’s some bullshit.”

GIPHY

As PR professionals, we believe in the sanctity of the newsroom. When we work to place stories for our clients, we do our due diligence to uncover the reporter’s beat, we watch trends closely, and we develop client stories that provide useful information to readers.

Sure, we would love for 30 different broadcasters to pick up news about the next best authentication method for personal cybersecurity, but we don’t expect or even want these articles to be advertorials. That’s what paid media is for – and would-be customers see right through it.

GIPHY

So, let me end this by giving a big ol’ shout out to the reporters, editors, and producers who are fighting the good fight, even when they decline my story idea. Without them, there would be no us – and far worse consequences I can’t bear to imagine.

–Constance

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