“Really good PR is so rare”

Those are the words of Jodi Kantor (left) of The New York Times.  She recalls few times when she dealt with a PR person who really made a difference in a story, someone who was able to ‘anticipate’ what the Arts & Leisure section, which she used to edit, might need. It’s a digitial world but it’s an old story. PR people aren’t reading the paper and thinking like journalists. Kantor now covers politics in general, and Barack Obama specifically, for NYT.

Kantor was on a panel called “The Era of Citizen Journalism” with Dan Gillmor, Director of the Center for New Citizen Media, moderated by Steve Rubel, Micropersuasion blogger with Edelman’s me2revolution.  The event, held earlier this week and archived with bios, links, and videos on this web page, were part of the Edelman/PR Week New Media Academic Summit.

The panel, and the event in general, highlighted the delicate and complex relationship between bloggers and mainstream media (MSM), between PR and journalism, and how it all intersects. In the new New York Times building print reporters and bloggers are together, reporters are bloggers, bloggers can be sources. Kantor said the Times is looking to push more into video. They would like to hear from people who attend those closed-door receptions for candidates to get intimate, insider, unscripted stories. The Caucus is a popular New York Times landing page for political blogs, videos, graphs and such.

Online video offers great PR opportunities, she says, yet they never get pitches for video segments. Stories often break on the web and develop until the newspaper is printed. Reporters are required these days to have more technical skills, and to sometimes develop new ways of delivering news that can bring video and audio into the mix.

I have watched two of the videos from the Summit so far and found both well worth the time. The Summit is worth checking out for no other reason than to watch the intro video with Richard Edelman (above, right) and his psychedelic electric shirt. Apparently, Edelman got a new client that is trying to be first mover in the electric shirt space and Richard thought this would be a good opportunity – ala The Ballad of Ricky Bobby – for a subtle promo tie-in.

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