Friday, December 30, 2005

The PR Notebook

CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson offers The 2005 Top Ten Tactics to Influence Negative News:

1. "It's old news"

News reporters hate to hear that their story is "old news." It makes them want to drop the subject like a hot potato. So when a news reporter calls you about a potentially negative story — whatever it is — just say "it's old news" even if it's not.

Useful phrases:
"There's nothing new here..."
"We just keep scratchin' our heads tryin' to figure out what's new here..."
"This has all been widely reported before..."

Click here for complete list.

One favourite that is noticeably missing is the ubiquitous "so-and-so did it; therefore, it is okay." The two most common politicians used lately to justify subsequent actions appear to be Clinton and Lincoln. Logical fallacies of the argumentum ad antiquitatem (even of the opposite political party) and the argumentum ad verecundium variety.