Monday, November 20, 2017
It has always been true that the media have a narrow focus. Reporters and editors will ignore an issue then suddenly illuminate it with a deluge of stories only to drop it again after a time. This has been a headache for media relations practitioners since the beginning of modern PR. An example of this is the media's concentration on proposed tax reform in Congress while overlooking an even more important issue of funding the government to avoid a shutdown. CNBC has made an issue of it but few others have. Turning the media's attention to the funding vote will come as the deadline looms. Meanwhile it takes a back seat. Media relations requires a sense of timing -- knowing when to push an issue and when to let it rest. Practitioners need to maintain close attention to the arguments of the hour in order to hook their news to them if possible. It is a dicey business and often unsuccessful.