Friday, November 21, 2014

When Satire Is News 

Two studies have shown that TV satire shows are better in informing the public than the news media.  Certainly, the John Oliver take-down of the Miss America pageant is a brilliant piece of reportage deserving a news award.  What does this say to PR practitioners?  Not much unfortunately.  The satire shows are designed to plunge a knife into the heart of a problem and to twist it viciously for laughs.  It is laugher that educates and is a reminder to the viewer of the event or personage.  There aren't many occasions in which PR would deliberately set out to mock one's client or product.  On the other hand, it would be dangerous to be completely dismissive of TV satire.  There might be creative ways to provoke laughter and still get positive message placement.  It would depend on the issue, the bent of the show and the mind of the comedian who presents it.  


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