“The qualifications of a good reporter applies very largely to the qualifications of a good public relations counsel. “There is undoubtedly a good deal of truth,” says Mr. Given, “in the saying that good reporters are born and not made. A man may learn how to gather some kinds of news, and he may learn how to write it correctly, but if he cannot see the picturesque or vital point of an incident and express what he sees so that others will see as through his eyes, his productions, even if no particular fault can be found with them, will not bear the mark of true excellence; and there is, if one stops to think, a great difference between something that is devoid of faults and something that is full of good Thc quality which makes a good newspaper
man must, in the opinion of many editors, exist in the beginning. But when it does exist, it can usually be developed, no matter how many obstacles are in the way.”
The public relations counsel can try to bring about this identification by utilizing the appeals to and instincts discussed in the preceding chapter, and by making use of the characteristics of the group formation of society. His utilization of these basic principles will be a continual and efficient aid to him. He must make it easy for the public to pick his issue out of the great mass of material. He must be able to overcome what has been called “the tendency on the part of public attention to ‘flicker’ and ‘relax.'” He must do for the public mind what the newspaper, with its headlines, accomplishes for its readers. Abstract discussions and heavy fact are the groundwork of his involved theory, or analysis, but they cannot be given to the public until they are simplified and dramatized. The refinements of reason and the shadings of emotion cannot
reach a considerable public.
When an appeal to the instincts can be made so powerful as to secure acceptance in the medium of dissemination in spite of competitive interests, it can be aptly termed news.
The public relations counsel, therefore, is a creator of news for whatever medium he chooses to transmit his ideas. It is his duty to create news no matter what the medium which broadcasts this news. It is news interest which gives him an opportunity to make his idea travel and get the favorable reaction from the instincts to which he happens to appeal. News in itself we shall define later on when we discuss “relations with the press.” But the word news is sufficiently understood for me to talk of it here.
In order to appeal to the instincts and fundamental emotions of the public, discussed in previous chapters, the public relations counsel must create news around his ideas. News will, by its superior inherent interest, receive attention in the competitive markets for news, which are themselves continually trying to claim the public attention. The pubic relations counsel must lift startling facts from his whole subject and present them as news. He must isolate ideas and develop them into events so that they can be more readily understood and so that they may claim attention as news.”
― Edward Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion