PR Classwork

Be Successful By Not Annoying Journalists

Do you remember those commercials with the Mac vs. PC. Well, that is exactly what happens in my field of study. It is Journalism vs. Public Relations. I think of it as a love-hate relationship.  My assignment this week is to create a list of 10 reasons why PR people drive journalists crazy.

1)      Journalists don’t think we respect their time.

Journalists have deadlines just like us. So get to the point when pitching your story. If they don’t have time to talk, be respectful and try another time.

2)      Poor Written Spammy Press Releases

Make sure you write a well-written press release. If you want them to write about your product or client, make sure you give it a local spin.

3)      Difficult to contact

Make sure you put your contact on everything you send to journalists. Always try to be available to talk to journalists.

4)      Send stories completely irrelevant to what they cover

PR people need to make sure that they don’t overload a journalist’s email. Do some research! Make sure your contacting the right journalist.

5)      Don’t know when to take ‘no’ for an answer.

Yes, you want them to write about you, but don’t annoy them. Deliver everything you have to say, but if they say no just move on to a different journalist.

6)      Don’t know enough information.

Make sure you know all about your product or client before pitching it to a journalist. It makes them think you don’t know how to do your job, do they will avoid you.

7)      Avoid Business talk

Journalists aren’t interested in marketing or sales numbers unless it gives them a story. Instead of giving them numbers, give them reasons why it is newsworthy.

8)      PR following up with no more information

You’re not their babysitter. Contact them to give them more information or don’t contact them at all.

9)      PR can only provide interviews with company heads

Journalists want to cover different aspects of the story and sometimes that includes people with different responsibilities in the company. Make it possible for them to interview others because most of the time the company heads will only give the same information the journalist already has.

10)   PR bringing gifts to the office

Sure, it is nice to give them gifts, but most newsrooms have rules about receiving gifts which means that this may make journalists bitter when they can’t go to that free concert. You better off finding out the rules for gifts for each office before giving them.

Here are links to my resources….




2 thoughts on “Be Successful By Not Annoying Journalists

  1. Although we did have some similar tips you had many reasons public relations people get on journalists nerves that I had not considered. I like the “can’t take no for an answer” one because it is so true. I have worked for people (not you :)) that can’t take no for an answer and it ends up driving customers away. No one wants to feel like they are being forced to do something, and when people can’t take no for an answer it just makes people not want to deal with them in the future.

  2. Pingback: Comments | Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride!

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