In the News: The Practice of Media Relations in CanadaIn the News: The Practice of Media Relations in Canada by William Wray Carney (University of Alberta Press 2002, second edition 2008, digital edition July 2012) fast became my favourite book on media relations when it was first published. I featured it in the first issue of mediamag.ca. Since then In the News has become required reading in many university and college public relations programs across Canada. It offers a primer to media relations in Canada, from a practical, tactical and philosophical approach. Grounded in the latest research on how to work with media, it explains current media practices and demonstrates how to take a proactive, planned approach to dealing with media. The second edition ( 2008) is revised and updated containing two new chapters that outline emerging trends in media relations as well as connecting larger issues in media to its role in modern society. This fall, the University of Alberta Press will begin offering this seminal book on media relations in Canada as a digital download.

Reviews from the First Edition:

“In the News covers everything.”—Marketing Magazine

“A convincing guide on convincing the media and the public.”—Regina Leader Post

“The book fills a major gap—at least in Canada…. This is the stuff you don’t learn unless you go behind the scenes, witness a press scrum or see how a PR flak from a corporation puts a positive spin on a crisis that the public might otherwise think about unfavorably.”—Barry’s Bulletin

“In The News is a pleasure to read—for its easy style, its balance between practice and analysis, and for its insights on the media/communicator relationship.”— PR Canada Reviews

“[This book] contains lots of practical advice about how to approach reporters, turn events into a news story, navigate difficult interviews, and write grabby press releases. Journalists wanting to know more about the tricks of the trade used in the PR business will also find this interesting.”— Media Magazine, The Canadian Association of Journalists

“Carney has literally written the book on Canadian PR.” —Dan Rubinstein, Vue Weekly

Reviews from the Second Edition:

William Wray Carney fills a major gap in Canadian media relations with the second edition of In the News: The Practice of Media Relations in Canada. The book readily fulfills its purpose as a “standard textbook on media relations that meets academic standards, is research-based, and provides both a practical and a philosophical guide to dealing with media and reporters.” This book should be required reading for individuals or members of organizations that may be involved in media relations, such as governments, non-profit organizations, universities, libraries, businesses, etc. Journalists and reporters will benefit from Carney’s offering as well.

The textbook is comprised of three major sections. In the first portion of the book, Carney discusses the theory and principles of media relations. The second portion of the book builds on the background provided in the first section and outlines the practice of media relations. The second section is the meat of Carney’s text and is full of practical strategies and tips for successful media relations. In this section Carney covers every topic of media relations from how to create and develop news releases (including detailed specifics such as how to construct a good lede) and how to give successful interviews, to the various approaches to the media (from the news conference to media events), in an easy-to-read style.

The major differences between the first edition, published in 2002, and the second edition appear to be stronger editing and the addition of a third section that discusses “Emerging trends in media and media relations” and “Towards a greater understanding of media, communications and technology.” The second edition is about 30 pages longer. Carney’s meticulous explanations of what media are, how they work, and what concrete steps a communicator needs to take in order to get their story out to the public or to their specific audience make this book a must-read for anyone already involved in media relations or anyone who thinks they might need to know more about communications.

– Tami Oliphant, University of Western Ontario

About William Wray Carney

William Wray Carney has a Honors BA in English Literature from Trent University in Peterborough Ontario and studied journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario. He has over 30 years of experience in media, public relations and education. He has been a sessional instructor at the University of Regina and the University of Alberta and was Adjunct Professor in risk communications at Concordia University College in Edmonton Alberta. His work in public relations was primarily in the public sector in Alberta and Saskatchewan and he is now semiretired from government, maintaining a small private practice in Regina Saskatchewan. In 2009, just after the publication of the first edition of In the News, the Canadian Public Relations Society presented the Award of Attainment to Carney “whose personal activities and/or leadership have gone beyond the call of duty or responsibility to an employer or client and resulted in a pronounced contribution to the status and acceptance of the Public Relations function as a whole.”

You can purchase your copy of In the News at your favourite bookstore or order it online at the University of Alberta Press.

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See an excerpt from In the News: The Practice of Media Relations in Canada on proactive and reactive media relations.