The media world is filled with fraught relationships. Perhaps none more so than the interplay between reporters and public relations people.
The heart of the many disagreements between these two camps is that one camp wishes the other didn’t exist, or at least existed in far fewer numbers. And yet, the relationship is symbiotic, however mutually disdainful. Journalists call PR folks “flacks,” and they reciprocate with the pejorative “hacks.”
We used our own experience, as well as those from other reporters who love to complain, to come up with a quick guide for PR pros to the things that drive reporters nuts. Because sometimes it’s OK to hate the playa and the game.
1. The overuse of “thrilled.”
You know it’s a press release when someone is thrilled. Disingenuous isn’t strong enough to describe this.
2. The infographic “exclusive.”
A “visualized” press release is still a press release.
3. The dial-in conference number.
There was a time when two people could have a conversation without three other people silently listening in.
4. The call to follow up on emails.
There’s probably a reason you didn’t get a response the first time.
5. Re-sending emails that got no response.
Again, sometimes silence actually speaks volumes.
6. The exclusive that isn’t.
We get the press release 15 minutes early? Whose ring can we kiss? Should the bow be at precisely 90 degrees?
7. The brochure turned “contributed piece.”
Turning a sales deck into narrative form does not make it an editorial piece.
8. “Sharing this with you under NDA.”
This is DOA.
9. The presumed embargo.
Wait, when did I agree to this?
10. The presumptuous meeting.
I’m meeting with who? Why? What is this calendar invite? What’s Admonger anyway?
11. The pitch that’s the exact story I just wrote, only with your source.
I’ve moved on. You should, too.
12. Using personal information from social media in pitches.
This isn’t clever; it’s creepy.
13. The hug.
No, I’m not comfortable.
14. The big-time.
Copying my boss won’t help, it will make your future emails mysteriously land in my spam folder.
15. Sending copies of marketing books.
Nobody reads these. Nobody.
16. Babysitting in-person meetings.
A coffee where two people are talking and one is observing isn’t normal.
17. The guilt trip.
I know you have client pressures, but journalists have no feelings.
18. The client audit request.
You’re pitching a new client, but that doesn’t mean I’m your free focus group.
19. The Valentine’s Day card.
20. The sly mention your client is an advertiser.
Not subtle. Not effective.
21. Playing gatekeeper.
You mean I’m risking not getting that pre-brief?
22. Facebook friend requests.
How well do we really know each other?
23. Asking to review quotes for the “story angle.”
You sound nervous. Are you nervous? Why would you be nervous?
24. The “deskside briefing.”
Sounds like a surgical procedure performed on the reporter.
25. The Webex.
Nobody ever talks about a good Webexing.
Image via Shutterstock
The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists
The Post's climate team continues to expand as the publisher makes big bets on the beat drawing younger audiences.
Inside one media company’s strategy to monetize the Fifa World Cup
Soccer media business Footballco has spent most of 2022 trying to make hay while the sun is shining.
Publishers continue to evaluate cost-cutting in Q4, with economic and budgetary pressures mounting
The wave of cost-cutting measures in Q3 is still flowing into Q4, with publishers under pressure to keep expenses down at a time of continuing economic uncertainty and budget planning.
SponsoredHow brands are measuring incremental performance on CTV
Connected TV is unique among other advertising channels because it combines linear television’s storytelling capabilities with digital marketing’s targeting and measurement. As more marketers leverage CTV advertisements to reach relevant and engaged audiences, they also want to understand the real value they are generating with their investment. Incrementality reporting and measurement allow advertisers to measure […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: Publishers’ Q3 earnings reports show promise, but not without sacrifice
Publishers' third quarter earning reports are in.
A new entrant in the data-driven linear TV measurement space aims to fill a gap left by Microsoft’s Xandr
As Xandr shuts down its Clypd platform, datafuelX's M3 SaaS product aims to solve some of the multi-currency, multi-platform problems with investing in convergent TV today.