Univeral Amplifier

Universal Amplifier

Amplifying the topics that power today's PR professional

JFK, Public Relations and The News

There is no such thing as an easier point in time when people talk about communications and how the media works. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say, “Things were easier back then”. You can insert any period you like for the word “then”. The anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination is a reminder of this thought.

News Monitoring and Public Relations Measurement

Looked at from 2013, 1963 is a world where most American cities had a handful of local TV stations, a daily newspaper or two (maybe three), and a few solid radio newsrooms. Throw in the national wire services and the media landscape of huge cities like Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, and even New York still look small and manageable. The public only had a handful of places to go get news and information.

I wasn’t around in 1963, but I’ve been in meetings with PR and media relations colleagues where the discussion has focused on how much simpler it was to get messages out back in the 80s, the 90s, even just a couple of years ago. While the approach to getting information out may have been different in the past, I don’t believe it was a better time. I’ll take my Gmail account over a fax machine, thank you.

Sure, the power and importance of newspaper and broadcast outlets have changed over the years and decades, but communications is a field that is always changing. In 1963, TV was still a disruptive force which impacted radio and newspapers. The web and social media is certainly disruptive today, but learning and adapting is what people (and PR people in particular) do.

I don’t know anyone who wants to go back to a communications world without something as fundamental as word processing and computing, as essential as voice-mail and email, and as stunningly varied as the Internet. Today’s media and communication arena is eve- changing and more than a little chaotic, but it’s also filled with richer, greater, and more numerous communication opportunities.

Universal Information Services is a 105-year-old company that began as a newspaper clipping service and, like our clients, we’ve learned and adapted. Our evolution into radio monitoring, TV monitoring, and web and social media monitoring has mirrored what has gone on in society. While so much has changed over time, the fundamental parts of communication remain. Good communications and public relations are always important to organizations . . . and Universal is here to assist and to advise those clients. Providing help and great service never goes out of style.


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