PRCA 3330: TOW #13

10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy


  1. Sending irrelevant press release after irrelevant press release.  The PR professional should make sure their news release is correspondent to the public that the journalist writes to reach.  This could mean that the news release is slightly tweaked depending on what media contact will receive the news release.
  2. Distributing a press release that is written like an article.  Writing the article is the journalists job.  Instead of sending a press release that closely resembles an article, the PR professional should stick to press releases consisting of clear facts and concise information.
  3. Not providing a journalist with something they asked for when they needed it.  Like PR, journalism is a fast-paced business and time is crucial when writing stories.  A PR person who ignores a journalist’s request will probably ditch the story all together.  The PR professional should listen closely to what the journalist needs from them and in return the PR professional will get what they want from the journalist.
  4. Sending long and drawn out press releases. The PR person should remind themselves when writing a press release that journalists often just scan press releases and will become uninterested or miss an important part of the press release if it is too long.  The PR person needs to provide as much information as possible in the beginning of a press release and keep it as short as they can.
  5. Providing in depth and not important information during phone pitches.  Journalists aren’t interested in being talked at and will lose interest in what you’re pitching if it takes too long.  The PR person needs to simply tell the journalist their idea, briefly outline the story, and tell the journalist who will be interested and why.
  6. Not following up.  Letting down journalists will give them a bad impression of you and won’t make them very interesting in helping you in the future.  The PR person needs to make sure they always follow up with journalists after inviting them to attend an event, etc.  This will also help create a beneficial and trusting relationship with the journalist.
  7. Using quotes without identifying who said it.  The PR person must only use quotes from identified people because it they don’t they will lose legitimacy in what they are trying to promote in their press release.  An audience won’t trust an unknown source as much as they would if a name is provided.
  8. Sounding like an advertisement. Journalists get annoyed when PR people talk to them like they are reading a script. To avoid this, the PR person should try to speak conversationally as well as professionally.
  9. Using hype words in press releases. The PR person should stick to clear cut facts rather than trying to be creative when describing events, products, or services.
  10. Spinning stories to make them more interesting.  Journalists only want the information that they need to know.  When PR people spin stories, it can be misleading to journalists.  The PR person should provide an unbiased press release.

Thanks in large part to Publicity Heaven and AB Words Blog

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8 Comments

Filed under Topic of the Week: PRCA 3330

8 responses to “PRCA 3330: TOW #13

  1. I loved your list of things! They were clear and straight to the point. I also enjoyed the video! Your blog looks really good–I really like the picture at the top of the skyline!

  2. marilynpr

    • It’s funny that PR people and journalists really tick each other off because the fields they work in are so similar but different at the same time. PR people work more for the client whereas journalists are supposed to be more objective. I think that the idea of sending irrelevant press releases is something for PR people to be especially aware of because that just makes the journalists further disregard you later on down the road when you have something interesting for them to see or release. Also, it is our job not to write their articles for them like you said. Great post!

  3. Pingback: Blog Comments- PR Practicum 3711 « Marilyn’s Entertainment and Etc.

  4. I love the video you added to this post! Did you just search YouTube for it? It is perfect for this content because it really shows how much PR professionals and journalists annoy each other (although we both rely on one another). Those Mac v. PC commercials always made me laugh, although I haven’t seen any new installments lately. The ending of this video is great when the counselor says PR and Journalism are soulmates, meant to be together. It is so true, although you won’t find many professionals admitting it.
    Great video, again! I loved watching it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I really enjoyed the video you added at the end of your list. It was a great way to laugh off some of the realities of how journalist and PR professionals can bump heads. It was funny that the guy pointed out how PR people call all night, write about the same topics, and even if they get a story that meets the journalists deadline- is it even newsworthy? Good find on this video! It’s nice when you we can laugh at ourselves sometimes- a little constructive criticism, makes the best writers! Good luck on any last minute blogging!

  6. This is a pretty good list. I would slowly start to lose my mind if I had to deal with some of these issues. Afterall, we are supposed to be in a field that is specialized and requires the utmost amount of professionalism. It’s sad that some people just don’t have the right manners. Overuse of spin and hype definately should be avoided, so I agree with you there. If the story looks and sounds like it isn’t newsworthy, then it probably isn’t; no amount of puffery can save it. By the way, I liked your use of the video at the end, that was a good touch.

  7. Carrie this video at the end of this is hilarious! After reading and writing all about this topic the video makes so much since. The ending is great as the therapist tells them they are soul mate. PR and journalism would have a hard time functioning without each other. Another aspect that makes it hard for public relations professionals to “make friends” with the journalist is that PR is given a bad reputation. Without even giving a new PR professional a chance journalist can automatically can jump to conclusions- hints the “she always spins stuff” mentioned in this video clip. Great find and blog post!

  8. Pingback: Comments on Other Blogs « Anna's Blogging Adventure

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