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Part IV: PR 2.0: A Promising Future > The Rules for Breaking News

Chapter 17. The Rules for Breaking News

Breaking news used to be easy: You would write a news release and organize a national media tour. The tour would usually occur a couple of months in advance, to brief the monthly print publications and industry analysts. You’d hit weekly print media outlets about two weeks before the official launch day, and then you’d go after online sources a few days before the event. Of course, everyone would have to respect and abide by the same embargo date. At the time of the embargoed announcement, the news release would cross a wire service with the support of outbound call downs, outreach, and mass e-mail blasts. You would then hope that the efforts paid off in the form of news coverage, both print and online, appearing on or near the embargo date. But everything old isn’t necessarily new again.

Public attention is thinning as new information sources emerge, and the traditional news cycle is a luxury of the past. Visibility (which is required to compete) depends entirely on frequency, and that frequency has radically shortened the time span between communicating news. As a result, the business of news targeting and distribution is favoring newspapers, weeklies, broadcast media, and online venues (all short-lead outlets). This change started with Web 1.0 and continues today, with new rules now applying.


  

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