I keep coming across stuff about how much journalists hate PR people. Seth Porges at Crunchgear tells us (ok, told us in December) ways in which we can make his life easier, ‘Joanna’ at 72point gives advice on how to approach them while even in India they seem to dislike us.
There’s very little out there on how journalists can help PR people. So here’s my list:
- Realise that everyone’s under pressure. You’ve got an editor breathing down your neck: we’ve got clients breathing down ours. Just because you’re stressed out isn’t a reason to give us a hard time. We’re stressed out too.
- Understand that we really really really do want to help you out. A lot of activity in a typical PR agency is geared towards making journalists’ lives easier, from consideration of hotels for events through to training on handling the media. Just think: you have us all working for you. You should be flattered, not irritated.
- Enjoy the cut and thrust. We’re not trying to manipulate you, we’re just putting forward a considered viewpoint on behalf of our client. It’s our job to do this. If you agree with it then say so. If you disagree, then say so. If it wasn’t for people like us there would be fewer informed opinions around for you to work off.
- Accept that we’re here because our clients want us to be. I’ve been on the other side of the fence, as a client, and I can tell you that even the mere presence of a PR person when you’re being approached by journalists is immensely reassuring. No matter how friendly you are, you have an agenda to get a story. Our agenda is to protect our clients from saying anything daft and steer them towards saying something clever.
Maybe this is the only posting in the blogosphere defending PR people against journalists. In which case I guess that makes this my blog’s USP.