Bob Tippee, the editor of the Oil & Gas Journal had some interesting, if not eloquent, things to say in an Advertising Age opinion article published in the March 22nd issue. On the heels of winning a 2010 Crain Award, his words were directed to fellow newsmakers, however, I feel these are also wise words for PR pros.
On news and changes in news, Tippee wrote:
“My colleagues and I do what all news people do: hustle facts, write stories, and try to create linear intelligence out of the splendid mayhem of human activity — in our case a specific realm of human activity…We now compete in and contribute to a dimensionless yet expanding mass of information nobody wants to pay for…And let’s face facts: a lot of that information is duplicative, unfocused, and superficial. Why should anybody pay for it?”
And he offered this advice, “A news operation has to do more than mass-produce content; it must create intelligence,” with these bullet points following:
- to report stories before the press releases appear … and stories about which no press releases will appear
- to anticipate the questions professional readers ask and uncover and report the answers
- to provide the background and context that make stories whole
- to omit gloss and unnecessary decoration
- to be prompt and brief
Tippee’s comment about stories for “which no press release will appear” is key. Despite the cliché, in my view, this is about connecting dots. For PR professionals that are voracious readers, this will come naturally and you’ll be able to speak to the new influencers about your causes in a higher level of context — or as Tippee says, with “intelligence.” Perhaps this is what separates great PR pros from the ordinary.
Read Tippee’s full article here: It’s a Wonderful Time to Be in the B-to-B News Business
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