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Go Easy on the Journalists (tow-13) April 27, 2010

Posted by Chris Yates in Uncategorized.
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     An unfortunate aspect of working in public relations is having to avoid disagreements with journalists. Although both professions are very similar in practice and often work with the same types of media outlets, journalists have slightly different objectives than PR practitioners. The authors of Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques point out that much of the friction between journalists and those in PR comes from the issue of improper advertising influence, among other things. The book also cites some ways in which journalists can be rubbed the wrong way:

  1. Receiving hundreds of spam releases every day. A PR practitioner should make certain that releases are news worthy and relevant.
  2. Dodging questions or giving misleading responses in media interviews.  You should always decide if you are qualified to answer the questions given in an appropriate manner.
  3. Wasting reporters’ time by calling interviews short. Make sure that reporters get the amount of time you promised them to ask their questions.
  4. Not doing enough research or being unprepared to give useful information. Research is one of the steps in the PR process and shouldn’t be ignored.
  5. Creating an excessive amount of spin for a story. Journalists want the straight facts so they have the freedom to report on the subject their own way.
  6. Using social media to undermine or compete with journalists.  Public relations relies heavily on social media, especially blogging, which is often times mistaken for journalism.

          It’s crucial that PR practitioners learn how to get along with journalists.  Although their motives differ, they still rely on one another to get their jobs done.

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