Warning signs for PR people

Last Friday PR News publisher Diane Schwartz posted her “six indicators that a journalist just doesn’t like you” — you being a PR person.

1. The reporter returns your call – but after you’ve gone home, to ask you to take him off your media list.

2. You email the reporter a story idea and she emails you back: um, who are you?

3. The reporter refuses to have you present during an interview with your senior executive.

4. She tweets a negative comment about you – not your company.

5. The reporter calls you a flack.

6. You invite the reporter to your Vermont ski house, all expenses paid for him and his wife, to be used at anytime, and he declines, every time you ask.

Serious or parody? I asked Schwartz. She responded:

The blog was an exaggeration to make an important point about the necessity of fostering strong media-PR relations. The blog itself has garnered a lot of comments as you can see, and there have been many tweets and re-tweets about it. Mostly people are responding about that Vermont ski house, and I concede that it’s unlikely a PR person would be offering that up to the typical media connection, but it is not unheard of for companies to wine and dine journalists and send them gifts or tchotchkes.

As the publisher of PR News for nearly 16 years and a former journalist, I’ve seen great progress among media relations professionals and their journalist partners. In the past two years, with the lines blurring between citizen journalist and media professional and the definition of “content provider” changing, it is beholden on PR professionals to understand who their key influencers are and to make the time to build
meaningful relationships.

* Six indicators that a journalist doesn’t like a PR person



1 comment
  1. Thanks for the post. I am not a “journalism partner.” We are reporters, not stenographers.