Tag Archives: Don’t’s

TOW #8: 10 Ways to Drive a Journalist Crazy


In the PR world, PR practitioners and journalists are always going to have to network. Though practitioners are not aware of all of the duties of journalists and vice versa, those in the PR field have a tendency to annoy journalists. Here are several ways PR practitioners drive journalists crazy and ways to prevent them.

1. Too Much Contact – Instead of constantly trying to get in touch with the journalist, be patient. If you do not see your story published or if you have questions regarding your story, call once to check up on its status. Do not hound the journalist with calls and e-mails. This will not only annoy them, it will also cause you to gain negative work ethics; don’t ruin your reputation.

2. Not Enough Contact – On the other hand, too little contact will also leave a bad impression. It is likely that a journalist will need to get in touch with you at some point before publication. Be sure to be available. Availability will insure that the journalist is able to get any questions answered, or to gather further information about the story.  A quick response time is also crucial.

3. Being Unprofessional – When communicating with a journalist, be sure to be professional. Acting as if you are the journalist’s “buddy” or acting as if you are reporting just “another story,” will turn the journalist off. Be sure to use formal titles like Mr. and Mrs. and speak as if you are addressing a group of executives or someone that you want to make a good impression on.

4. Not Having Answers – Don’t expect your journalist to do your research for you. There is nothing the waste time like trying to find answers to questions that the PR professional has left you to find. Come prepared. If you do need to leave some strings untied, leave the journalist a direct route to the source.

4. Not Noting Revisions – Let’s not forget that deadlines do exist. When revisions are made to a release, let the journalist know. Without warning, the journalist is left to proofread and proofread in an attempt to spot slight changes. Do yourself and the journalist a favor and make note of what is revised.

5. Not Meeting Deadlines – Be conscious and aware that deadlines are a critical part of getting a story released. Sending important story information to a journalist will likely result in not getting your story published. Not staying on task will bother and possibly interrupt a journalist while they are busy on another story. Deadlines are not always set by the journalist either, pay mind to the fact that they are also following deadlines that have possibly been set by their company or boss.

6. Using Incorrect Formats – Sending a journalist a story or release that is error-free and in the correct format will only make their job easier. The last thing a journalist wants to do is correct mistakes that could have easily been avoided. Making a journalist mix formatting and grammatical errors will cause them to possibly get behind in other work and make them think less of you as a practitioner. Proofread and proofread again.

7. Using PR Lingo – Though most people may understand certain terminology like “chart-topping” or other phrases, most journalist want to know exactly what point you are trying to portray. Use simple phraseology when developing your story to ensure that the journalist will know exactly what you are trying to say.

8. Enough Consideration – Before sending a story to a journalist, be sure to consider every angle. Make sure you have done your research and every side to the story or release. Also take into consideration their feedback. It is important to interact with the journalists and make sure they know that you are interested in getting your client exposed in the media.

9. Inappropriate Releases – Be sure to consider what is really newsworthy before submitting a story to a journalist. Stories should not be only of personal interest but should appeal to a large audience. Sending in irrelevant stories or releases will only waste the journalist’s time, leaving them annoyed with you. Also consider what work the journalist is publishing and to what medium they are publishing. A story about the latest wild fire sent to a Glamour magazine journalist is likely not going to get published.

10. Sending Information out in Masses – Be sure to narrow down your journalist outlets as well as your target market. At some point, mass e-mails and information about your story will be looked at as spam, causing your story to go unnoticed. Make your journalist think that you specifically sent them the information in hopes that they will publish it. This makes you and your work seem more relevant.

These tips and more can be found from various sources:

                 

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Filed under PRCA 3330, TOW