PR, Films and Fantasies

Posts Tagged ‘media

Just found the trailers of two amazing documentaries which once again focus on the amazing “behind the scenes” of the media. Their stories are completely different, one following a sex scandal from the 70s and another being placed in The NY Times’ offices in the current, ongoing and forever-lasting financial crisis. I don’t know much about the films yet but they’re surely on my “unmissable” list, not just for somehow being a media person, but also due to their exquisite filmmaking techniques. Here’s the synopsis and trailer of Tabloid by Errol Morris:

One of America’s top documentary filmmakers, Errol Morris, turns his attention to the outrageous and nearly unbelievable story of Joyce McKinney. She’s a former Miss Wyoming beauty queen who gained a great deal of notoriety after being accused of kidnapping a young Mormon missionary, restraining him in chains and raping him in England in 1977. The unbalanced McKinney is interviewed extensively, particularly about her ambition to write a memoir telling her side of the tale.

And, the second, Page One: Inside the NY Times:

Unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom yields a complex view of the transformation of a media landscape fraught with both peril and opportunity.

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One of the highest levels of creativity in PR is definitely reached when putting together amazing stunts. Long ago their aim was obviously to grab the attention of the media, but with the internet (and Youtube, doh!) more and more are being planned so as to assure they go viral. I already dedicated a few posts to brilliant stunts I found online (here and here), but as I was watching the already famous Carlsberg Bikers cinema stunt I found this video:

Top 10 PR stunts in 2009 by trendhunter.com

Don’t judge, but my favourite was Paris Hilton’s 🙂

In one of my modules this semester we had a look at a chapter by Aeron Davis regarding the relation between news production and PR. The debate was wether the influence PRs have on the news agenda is too big for a democratic society or if it is actually perfectly balanced as more and more small organisations (especially from the voluntary sector) can finally have their say due to the PR support they get.

Davis states that four resources are key in the PR to news piece process: economic capital (obviously they need to afford PR support in the first place), media capital (referring to the status of both media and source in society), human resources and media-source affinity which is influenced firstly by bureaucratic considerations (such as organisational structure or many other business related terms) and newsworthiness. The level of impact of each of them is quite different and it is actually this difference that sometimes leads to accusations of spin or corrupt journalism.

Newsworthiness in press releases is actually what I wanted to get to as I just found this from The PRmoment.com:

The type of stories people most like to follow (Q4 2010)

1 Stories about topics impacting my family and life 33%
2 Stories that make me stop and think about an issue 27%
3 News about where I live 26%
4 Stories that make me laugh 19%
5 Uplifting news 16%
6 Stories that strike up conversations at home or at work 11%
7 News about the recession 10%
8 Sound economic forecasts 8%
9 Shock headlines 7%
10 Surveys about what people think 6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more really interesting articles on: http://www.prmoment.com !!!

I’ve been waiting for The King’s Speech for months now and just didn’t have a chance to watch it anywhere before its UK release. In this time I read both amazing and terrible reviews, I heard people praising it and other destroying it claiming that it had no right to be on the list for the awards as it was soooo made for the money and fame. So I honestly didn’t know what to expect even if I am a declared fan of Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.

Funny but dramatic in its comedy, sensible and strong in the same scenes, with a beautiful cinematography that portrayed the years perfectly and a very intelligent script, this film dragged me into the story from minute one. It is obviously hard not to love the sympathetic King as he desperately tries to overcome a deeply engraved problem which shows once more that royal blood doesn’t come with less issues but actually with more and even more powerful than a regular subject could realise.

The perfect performance given by the entire cast (even little Elisabeth was brilliant!) definitely deserves recognition, but what I loved more than anything was the powerful silence in the film. My favorite moment was the scene after the King’s Speech where so much could be deciphered from the tension and the facial expressions. Also, the lovely lessons about life, awards and credentials that we are given throughout the story are nicely and funnily inserted.

As a non-British I probably saw this film in a very different way to the other English people in the cinema. Never before have I felt such intensity on the chairs as there was absolutely no sound from the audience. No fizzy drinks popping, no popcorn bags, no chatting… just the shy laughs when the moment was right. And believe me the screen was full! Orange Wednesdays and 400 souls under one roof. Therefore I wonder if there is something more to this film that I couldn’t understand due to my different cultural background and history, coming from a country where the royal family has been absent for the past hundred years and only causes trouble when coming to visit their lands.

How do the British relate to their royal leaders and how has that changed with the media which turned them more into public goods with each development?

One really interesting aspect portrayed in the production was how the new media technologies changed the lives and activities of the famous. Considering the huge impact of radio, just think what TV and even more the internet did to the ones in the spotlight as private and public boundaries have completely disappeared. To what extent is this fair? Do we, the public, actually own their lives? As more and more dream of that kind of attention and do anything to get it, how about the ones that are born with it and simply can’t get rid of the paparazzi eye?

Quite controversial questions and with a million of answers…

Anyway, I love this scene (hope it’s legal to post it here :)):

P.S. Click for great article in the Guardian covering something similar!

We have Sex and the City, Wag the Dog, Mad Men (ok, that’s advertising), Jerry Maguire, Phone Booth, Jersey Girl and a million more. They just can’t stop portraying one of the most controversial industries, can they? But in the end why does PR have such a bad representation in the media?

It’s not all just what the next video shows…. and even if it was, you have to admit it takes a lot of planning 🙂


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