10 ways that PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.