Suggestion for PR people: Don’t tell journalists how to do their jobs

Last month, we had a PR man proposing to write “fully developed stories” for a reporter and then letting her slap her byline on his articles.

Now we have a PR woman telling journalists how they should do their job.

“Check out this press release I got from stacey@visitingangels.com,” writes Denver Post reporter Claire Martin. “The ‘How To Tell This Story’ part is especially galling.”

How To Tell This Story:

Interview local families about the emotional struggle when deciding how to best care for an aging loved one. Talk with local senior care experts and caregivers about the options for elderly care and why in-home care is a viable solution.

I asked Stacey Hilton about the “especially galling” part of her email to the reporter. She responded:

We certainly don’t mean to offend anyone. We’ve always received positive feedback from other journalists about that section of our release. They receive so many emails a day and are so busy writing a number of stories that they’ve appreciated that quick little summary paragraph.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Have a great day!

Stacey Hilton | Senior Public Relations Manager
919 Marketing | www.919marketing.com

My suggestion, Stacey: Instead of instructing the reporter on “how to tell this story,” try suggesting ways to pursue it.

Thoughts from PR people and reporters?

* Earlier: A PR man’s “jaw-dropping” offer to a reporter (jimromenesko.com)
* “I flak for a living and consider it a term of endearment” (facebook.com/jimromenesko)

Hilton’s letter to the reporter is after the jump.

Dear Claire:

Local families are looking for new ways to care for their elderly loved ones after a scathing government report about our nation’s nursing homes. According to the newly released report from the Department of Health and Human Services, taxpayer funded nursing homes are sometimes dangerous and neglectful and fail to follow basic care requirements.

This is one reason many families – some right in our city – have turned to in-home care for seniors. Visiting Angels, one of our nation’s largest in-home senior care companies with a center in our area – helps take care of seniors right in their own homes. In-home care is a growing alternative for many families who need help caring for their elderly loved ones. The strain of caring for the elderly has become a huge local and national problem as someone turns 65 every 13 seconds in this country. Who will take care of our booming senior population?

How To Tell This Story:

Interview local families about the emotional struggle when deciding how to best care for an aging loved one. Talk with local senior care experts and caregivers about the options for elderly care and why in-home care is a viable solution.

I’ve included a press release below [I'm not posting it here] that shows the pros/cons of nursing homes vs. in-home care. I’d love to help you tell this story.

Thanks!

Stacey Hilton


Comments

comments