I’ve worked with some brilliant and some not so brilliant PR’s across the last 2 decades.
Most of them are true professionals who value a journalists time and work.
I value the healthy, professional partnerships very much.
Here are some of my top tips for making the two-way relationship a healthy thing.
PLEASE DO……appreciate that you have spent a very long time writing ONE press release on one client. Each time a Journalist writes or runs a story, we have done the same amount of work on each story, so please share widely on social media and respect the media’s time.
PLEASE DO ….respect that a journo’s job is NOT to do PR but to find interesting stories. Do not insist on ‘exact words script and messaging”. Our editors see through this and will simply scrap the story if it reads like an advertorial.
PLEASE DO give us a variety of angles on your client/story. Always answer why this is a unique story which would be of wider interest to a niche/broad audience.
PLEASE DON’T promise us an exclusive then give it to someone else. Automatic blacklist action.
PLEASE DO understand that every story a journo has green-lit by our editors, we have pushed your talent/story. So don’t then make life awkward for my producer having to chase you minutes before you join us on-air because you still haven’t delivered a crucial element to the story as promised.
PLEASE DO NOT promise things on behalf of your client that you can’t deliver and renege on once a whole camera crew has turned up- we will still scrap the story and be mindful of whether to work with you again.
PLEASE DON’T keep calling us about your story if you have our mobile number from a previous call sheet If all the peg-line info of interest is on your press release, and we are interested, we will be in touch.
PLEASE DO be careful about curating which journalists you send out your press release to. The minute we realise its a mass email we tag it as spam.
PLEASE DO remember that in the age of social media, journalists expect your talent to promote their story with us on their social media platforms. It shouldn’t need to be requested, its PR Journo relationship 101. Don’t argue about why we expect this? We do research, create questions, transcribe, edit and publish your story. The least you can do is promote it before and after.
PLEASE DO acknowledge that journalists have to take on research, balance and educational, informative content for our readers/listeners/viewers. We will choose which parts of your press release are of interest and use accordingly. Don’t call to moan that we didn’t use a bit that you thought would make your client more money.
PLEASE DO respect media timelines and deadlines. If we say we need a piece of video or music content by a day/time, don’t have us chase you for it. We are giving your client and your salary a boost. Work with us.
PLEASE DON’T promise that your client will talk about a range of subjects before actually confirming with them that they will.
PLEASE DO be courteous and polite to the whole media team, not just the presenter/reporter/writer. If my intern/ camera crew inform me you’ve been rude and hostile it means they may decide your client’s shot isn’t curated as beautifully as it might be.
PLEASE DON’T try and bribe us with free stuff. This is akin to selling your soul and none of your audience will respect you to be transparent if you simply take the check for advertorial style content.
PLEASE DO remember if you do one too many unprofessional things with the media, we simply delete your future emails. I had one PR company who would never ensure their talent were informed and ready for interviews with info that we sent across. Cue very awkward talent/ team moments when about to go live on air as talent states PR hadn’t shared vital info.
PLEASE DON’T ask journalists to ‘approve’ the final content. No explanation necessary.
PLEASE DO get to know your media. If I cover arts and entertainment I don’t want all your press releases about science, business and property.
I might read it but I’m unlikely to cover it.
PLEASE DO remember that everything you say is ON THE RECORD unless you say otherwise. Don’t fly into a frenzy when something you shared is out in the public if you didn’t specify it was OFF THE RECORD.
PLEASE DO establish a reputation as a PR journalists can rely on.
PLEASE DO remember that pitching journalists and pitching bloggers and influencers are different. Curate your press release to respect the worlds of both.
PLEASE DON’T expect journalists to wait hours for late talent. Our two way professional relationship relies on the fact that there is 2-way mutual respect for our time and expertise.
PLEASE DO understand that journalists are sent hundreds of emails a week and if we contact you we are grateful for the story, but we are also doing you a favour with all the work involved with your story. Respect our time and be courteous.
PLEASE DO call and speak to a journalist about their story if you don’t like the final version and let them explain their narrative if you want to grow as a PR. Manage your clients expectations and don’t expect puff pieces.
PLEASE DO understand that once most journalists have worked with a reliable PR repeatedly, we will trust you for stories and integrity and your press releases will hold more value with us. I have lifelong relationships with PR i trust and respect.
PLEASE DON’T inform us on arrival what to ask and not ask. Nothing winds up a journalist more and starts the interview with a bad vibes. Also don’t tell us not to use content at the end- ask nicely. We let you do your job, let us do ours.
PLEASE DON’T send on sloppy press releases, I receive press releases today that I have to send back for data, fact and grammatical errors. Check your work!
PLEASE REMEMBER that PR/ Media is a two way relationship that relies on each other. A great partnership can cultivate years of brilliant stories, content and good times. Respect each other’s skill-set and it’s a beautiful thing.