If you’ve been in the industry for any amount of time at all, you know that some PRs and journalists get along as well as cats and dogs. This isn’t always the case, but the truth is most journalists and PRs have at least a few pet peeves concerning each another.
That’s why we’ve come up with this list of 10 things journalists and PRs hate about each another – 5 for each side. Enjoy and add your own by leaving a comment!
5 Things Journalists Hate about PRs
1. You don’t respect their time – Journalists have this thing called deadlines. And guess what? Those deadlines aren’t flexible, and they certainly aren’t going to get met if you try to talk their ear off on the phone. When speaking with journalists, get to the point, and if they tell you now isn’t a good time to talk, be respectful of that and try to schedule another time for your chat.
2. You send poorly written, spammy press releases – If you had to guess, how many press releases do you think are sent out each day that are actually well written and useful? I suspect it’s probably less than 10%. Don’t believe me? Just go read any online news wire. Yikes!
3. You’re difficult to contact – Your company’s PR contact needs to be easy to contact. Contact info should always be on every press release you send out, and it should also be somewhere on your website. And when the journalist actually tries to get in touch with the PR guy, he should be able to do so easily.
4. You send stories completely irrelevant to what they cover – Don’t just send out your press release to every journalist on your email list. That’s an easy way to make a lot of people hate you. You need to have your email list segmented according to the type of stories the reporters cover. This helps you make more targeted pitches so you can get the best results.
5. You don’t know when to take ‘no’ for an answer–There’s something to be said for perseverance, but there’s also something bad to be said for people who don’t know when no means no.
5 Things PRs Hate about Journalists
1. Their constant indecision – Indecision seems to be a part of the news industry. Editors agree to publish a story, then change their mind, then change their mind yet again, and change it back one more time just for good measure. It’s understandable, but it’s also incredibly annoying.
2. They don’t always ask for a comment before running a story – Assuming you’re readily available, it’s always frustrating to come across stories about sensitive subjects that reporters never asked for your comment or position on. Or just as bad is when they wait until the very last minute to call you, forcing you to resort to the “no comment” because you didn’t have opportunity to prepare.
3. They sometimes show up to interviews unprepared – At the very least, journalists need to know the basics about the person they’re interviewing. Showing up unprepared is flat out unprofessional and disrespectful. That’s all there is to it.
4. They have the story written in their mind before checking the facts – There are a few reporters out there who already know the angle they’re going to take with a story before they’ve even bothered getting the facts. They have the shocking headline written in their mind, and they won’t let anything get in their way of writing that story.
5. They blindly hate all PRs – Some journalists think all PRs are bad PRs. They think the PR guy is the devil that’s just there to manipulate the facts or keep them from getting the real story.
If you’re a journalist, are there any other things about PRs that get on your nerves? If you’re a PR, what are some things journalists do that make you mad? Share your pet peeves by leaving a comment.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html