Caroline's Connections to Public Realtions

Care, Create, Conserve

Top Ten Ways to Drive a Journalist Crazy and How to STOP April 27, 2010

Filed under: PRCA 3330,Topic of the Week — Caroline Rawlins @ 10:15 pm

There are many ways that PR practitioners and journalists cross paths, but sometimes enough is enough and PR practitioners can have a tendency to drive journalists CRAZY. Here are some problems that can occur and how to fix them.

1. Presenting personality and not facts

solution: Most PR people are very personable and talkative. Sometimes this quality can be time-consuming and take away from the facts that you are there to present. So, be personable without it being over indulgent, be there to make your point and make it in a timely manner because most journalists are on strict time constraints and deadlines.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

2.Using PR jargon

solution: After making PR a career it becomes second nature to use phrases like “ground-breaking” and “industry-leading”. These may mean something to you but a journalist might not understand what you are trying to express. So, be sure to use language that translates in both the fields of PR and journalism.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

3. Not knowing or following deadlines

solution: Almost all journalists have deadlines set by their company, their boss, and themselves. Be aware of these deadlines and so that you do not bother them with something they had to have in a week ago or interrupt them during “crunch time”.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

4.Sending out mass information on your stories, products, or services.

solution: Being able to target your audience is just as important as being able to target your journalistic outlet. Consider your topic’s relevancy when contacting journalists and avoid sending out spam that will just be ignored. It wastes everyone’s time.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

5. Not using the correct format

solution: A journalist is usually under a lot of time pressures and stresses. Being able to use the correct formating will help your story get read and considered by the journalist. It will also give them one less thing to worry about or fix and with formating out-of-the-way your pitch or story will probably be considered and published more promptly.

Public Relations Writing Media Techniques 6th Edition

6. Constantly contacting the journalist

solution: Do not constantly contact the journalist about your story whether to see how it is going or even why it was not published. This only burns bridges and causes you to be associated with ill-favored qualities. Call once to check up then if you do not see it published then let it go and focus on your next work.

Defending PR: why journalists need to stop making lists telling PRs how to do their job

7. Sending irrelevant press releases

solution: Be sure to send news worthy material only. Something about the newest gardening tool would probably not make it if you sent it to a teen magazine. Though you may just have a large mass database that you send everything out under, try to sift through it and narrow the receivers down to a target market.

Ten things that prs do that annoy journalists part five

8. Ignoring the journalist

solution: If you send a release to a journalist and not all the information is included the journalist might have to contact you. If this happens be sure to be prompt in your response. The quicker you can respond the quicker your release can be considered and hopefully published.

Pr versus journalists the war of the press

9. Being to friendly

solution: No matter if  you are using the internet, e-mail, or snail mail to get your information to the journalist be sure to be proper and formal. The medium should not matter. Acting as if you are personal friends or have already met can turn the journalist off to you and not even look at your work. Be sure to always address them as Mr. or Mrs. and speak as if you were giving a speech in an unfamiliar audience.

Inside Story: What annoys journalists about PRs?

10. Asking for the journalist’s feature list

solution: Understand that a  journalist has a certain sense of secretive and that they can not disclose that sort of information to you. Doing this will only annoy them and make them think you are scheming. So, be confidant in what you are doing and have no need to be underhanded.

Inside Story: What annoys journalists about PRs?


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