FOX News Channel PR No-No

In my News Writing & Media Relations class this semester, we take time to discuss the current events in the media concerning education, politics and celebrities. A recent dispute between former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin and rapper-actor LL Cool J has grown to be a topic of conversation for the class.

To make a long story short, a past interview of LL Cool J was used without permission in the preview of FOX News Channel’s special program “Real American Stories,” with host Sarah Palin. The show highlights different stories of Americans rising above diversity by interviewing celebrities that match the criteria.

The rapper used social media as an outlet to respond to the preview, saying that FOX “lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palin’s Show. WOW.”

My professor discussed with us the issues from a public relations standpoint faced by FOX:

  • Don’t pull an interview that isn’t your own.

The interview that was used was created two years ago from a different interviewer, causing confusion for both the creators of the footage and LL Cool J himself. If you are using another person’s interview, let them know and ask for permission!

Which brings me to the next issue…

  • Inform a possible interviewee of an appearance on the show.

LL Cool J was unaware he would even be a candidate for the program, and was shocked by the appearance of his own face on television. Following this tip will prevent future insults from happening via social media.

If these issues were addressed prior to the release of the footage, FOX wouldn’t have outlets like social media working against them.

For the complete story, go to http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/01/arts/AP-US-TV-Sarah-Palin.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=ll%20cool%20j%20sarah%20palin&st=cse.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member, Liz Offner.

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