PR versus Journalists: The WAR of the PRESS!


In every area of a career, there are people who are annoying, irritating, and that drive you crazy. But have you ever switched it around and thought about how you are driving other people crazy within your job? This may be a beneficial thing to take time and reflect on.  Journalists get annoyed with public relations people in several ways. Within this post I will highlight at least ten ways that public relations people annoy journalists, and ways in which you can improve in your communication with others within your career.

1. Bad Communication Nothing is more annoying than trying to communicate with someone, and not getting a response on the other end. So stay on top of things, return calls as promptly as possible, and as far as emails go, there is no excuse for not being prompt in emailing. It is possibly the quickest form of communication.

2. Expectations Another thing that annoys journalists is when public relations people place unnecessary expectations on them. This causes stress on the journalist and makes them feel unappreciated. Respect the journalist that you are working with, and show your respect through your words and actions.

3. Writing too much When you submit a press release to a journalist, make sure that it is what it says it is, a press release. NOT AN ARTICLE. It is the journalists responsiblity to form the information that you give them, into an article. Do not do the journalists job for him. He will not appreciate it!

4. Words Words WORDS Do not be WORDY! When you are writing a press release, try to get as much information across, but be concise in your writing! A press release is simply a story suggestion, not the actual story in its fullness.

5. Ignoring what is needed If the journalist contacts you and needs something from your for the project you are working on, then get it to him, and get it to him quickly. Do not make the journalist wait. If the journalist needs a better copy of an image, then help him out, and get it to him. It will only make your client look better!

6. Acting like a salesperson When you contact a journalist about a pitch, do not act like they are someone you are trying to sell something to. Do not try to make your company look good, or even talk about your company. This will annoy the journalist and turn him away. Instead, stay to the point. Get your story idea across and then see what he has to say.

7. Being pushy The journalist is going to decide for himself which story he is going to do. Do not be pushy. Share your ideas, and then let him think and decide. Being over zealous is not going to help, it will probably just turn him off.

8. Unimportant information If your story is not newsworthy, then please, spare us all. Evaluate what it is that you are trying to get out into the media, and make sure it actually is something that is newsworthy.

9. Typos The number one thing to do to turn a journalist off right away, is to have typos within your news release. Proofread. Do not submit something until you absolutely know that it is ready.

10. Timeliness Make sure you are submitting something that is timely. If it should not be released for several weeks, then make sure you state an embargo date at the top of the press release.

Source: Journalist annoyances


About relating2thepublic

I am 21 years old and attend Southeastern University where I am pursuing my degree in journalism and public relations. I have many dreams and passions and I have decided to begin taking action now in accomplishing these dreams. I believe that everyone can be great, but they must persevere through struggles. I hope that my blog is an encouragement to you!

3 responses »

  1. This was a great post! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on the certain things that those working in Public Relations can do to annoy Journalists. I know that this post was very beneficial for me to read, since Journalism is the specific field that I want to go into when I graduate. Even though I am not yet working in the field of Journalism, I can already tell that some of these things will annoy me, and do already. Number 6, “Acting like a salesperson,” was probably the most thought-provoking item on the list, in my opinion. As a writer, I know that I will mainly want a Public Relations company to give me the basic idea of what they want written, and give me the freedom to develop a story, rather than trying to sell their idea for me. Also, number 9, “Typos” is something I can definitely relate to as well! I can usually catch typos very easily, and will be turned off immediately if there are many typos in something I am reading.

  2. Thank you for sharing this information with us! I must completely agree with the other person who commented, Typos are SO ANNOYING! I am one of those people who can rarely read a newspaper without a red pen in my hand, making corrections to either grammar or spelling errors. It is awful back in my hometown (very tiny) where one person basically writes the entire weekly paper. I do my best to fix any spelling errors in the things I write.
    Also, # 1 , bad communication, I can understand that as well. I don’t know how many times I have become frustrated when a person I am trying to e-mail or call will not return any of my messages. I am not always fantastic at it myself, but I do my best.
    Again, thanks for the post!

  3. Pingback: Top Ten Ways to Drive a Journalist Crazy and How to STOP « Caroline's Connections to Public Realtions

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