Amber Laurin's Blog

PRactice makes perfect… my first blog!

TOW 13: Why can’t we be Friends? December 1, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,TOWS — amberlaurin @ 11:13 am

Public Relation Practitioner drive journalists crazy in a variety of ways but I have created a list of 10 ways that I think are most prevalent and important.  Above all it is important for journalists and PR people to get along because neither profession would excel without the other.

  1. Name Calling The excesses of hype and promotion have causes many journalists to openly disdain public relations as nothing but covert advertising, deception, and manipulation. Journalist often refer to PR people as “flacks”, while others refer to reporters as “hacks”. In order for both professions to work in harmony, school yard name calling must stop.
  2. Not Meeting a deadline on time. Journalists are all about deadlines, getting a story in, out and on to the next one. It is crucial that PR Professionals make sure to have all the information for the journalist or vice verse on time. Deadlines are everything in the world of journalism
  3. Telling the journalist what to do how to do it. PR professionals and journalists need each other to get a job done. PR professionals need to stick to what they know and let the journalist do their work. It will cut out bickering and fighting in the long run if both people just do their own jobs and then meet in the middle.
  4. Don’t pitch a story to a journalist, if you haven’t considered all its angles first. Before you pitch a story idea to a journalist, make sure it is newsworthy and is the right story for the information you are providing to the journalist. You need to make sure the information you provide is relevant to your client and issues at hand.
  5. No one likes to feel obligated to someone else, just because they are presented a uncalled-for/unexpected gift. Sending gimmicks like T-shirts, coasters, discounts/coupons, or any other kind of “freebies”, though a nice gesture, is not always appropriate.If you want to send “freebies” to a reporter or journalist AFTER they have worked with you, as a thank you, that can be appropriate sometimes, depending on the situation. However, sending gimmicky items with your PR Media Kit, is essentially a no-no. It can come off like you are trying to buy the reporter into covering your client.
  6. Miss-communication. When the PR professional thinks that they are supposed to do one thing and in reality they were asked to do something completely different. This could lead to problems because if the journalist expects something and then gets a completely different thing it could get them in trouble by someone higher up.
  7. Repeated calls and follow ups from PR professionals. PR people can overdo it with the follow up calls. They should call once to make sure that the information was received and then leave it alone. Too pushy could ruin chances in the future.
  8. PR professionals calling the journalist about something that was not published. When something that the PR person thought was going to be published and was not, the PR person should not call the journalist to figure out why. If it was not published there was a reason and just because you call does not mean it will be published.
  9. Sending invites. PR professionals going beyond there job and actually inviting specifics to press conferences and events that the journalists are in charge of arranging.
  10. PR use excessive hype in writings, journalists consider it to be poorly written. PR people could change their use of words to try to accommodate the journalist style.

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