Coexistence of PR pros and reporters: natural enemies or unholy alliance?
Friday, June 8, 2012 • 6:23am
Is news controlled by outside forces? How, exactly, do public relations professionals influence (or do they?) what the public reads and views? How would news media look without the “help” of PR people? Newsers and spinners: who disses whom”
These are some of the questions to be explored at the June 13 meeting of Professionals in Media (PIM) during a no-holds-barred panel discussion starting at 7 p.m. at the Ethical Culture building at 516 Prospect Avenue in Maplewood.
Panelists will share their insights into the relationship between the journalists who report news, and the PR people who “suggest” news topics to them. Public relations people support their clients’ views while the news media strive to provide unbiased reporting, a delicate seesaw ecology, indeed.
In addition to current PIM members, the public and prospective members are invited to listen, join the proceedings, and ask tough questions. Attendees are requested to make a $10 donation and contribute snacks, soft drinks, or wine for the casual reception preceding the presentation.
PIM was established by South Orange residents Jacqueline Herships and Michelle Hollow in 2007 to provide an informal and entertaining networking forum for journalists, novelists, fine artists, PR practitioners, photographers, actors, directors, etc.
Natural enemies or allies?
According to organizer – and PR panelist – Joel Levin of South Orange, neither “side” could survive without the other. He says, in fact, that “Although a there is a prevalent belief that publicists and journalists are natural enemies, many insiders feel that they are allies. The June 13 meeting will be an eye-opener resulting in some opinion shifting.”
Levin, who represents PR clients and also writes for New Jersey Newspaper Group, further explains, “I’ve seen PR men and women abused by writers and broadcasters, but I’ve also seen media who want to gouge the eyes of pushy PR people. Bottom line is that media make public relations reps possible, but without PR people to provide information for media, our newspapers, Web sites, and radio and television news outlets would be half the size that they are.”
Other panelists are:
Aliyah Baruchin, freelance reporter on health and medicine, a Kaiser Foundation Fellow in Health Media and winner of an AHCJ Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.
Elaine Durbach, Central bureau chief and staff writer for New Jersey Jewish News, winner of the NJ Press Association Award for Feature Writing and a World Press Institute Fellow.
Shanta Bryant Gyan, managing director of SBG Communications, is experienced in media outreach and editorial work in international advocacy and humanitarian and development affairs.
Maureen Bennett, multi-award-winning marketing and media relations specialist, video producer, and editor-in-chief of Summit Medical Group's three newsletters.
Michele C. Hollow, animal advocate and editor of petnewsandviews.com, will moderate the panel and encourage journalist and PR panel members to tell their most outrageous “war stories.”
For more information, visit Professionals in Media on linkedin.com or see www.professionalsinmedia.org.