The Love-Hate Relationship between PR Pros and Journalists

Being Public Relations Professionals, we all know that interacting with the media is a frequent task, sometimes even a daily one. We also know that it’s probably in our best interest and in the best interest of our wallets to maintain a friendly and professional relationship with them. Unfortunately for you and I, reports show that things are getting a bit rocky.

Journalists tend to have a short fuse with PR gurus because quite frankly, we outnumber them four to one. Due to greater volumes of story pitches newsrooms receive, it makes it difficult to sift out the relevant pitches from the inane.  Journalists also have many other sources for story ideas than direct news pitches, but can struggle with being forced to produce more.

Journalists rely on PR professionals to provide them with newsworthy information, and PR people count on reporters to publish their client’s story in a timely fashion. To keep this cycle flowing, reporters have a few tips for us PR people:

  • Do not send a story pitch without first researching what the reporter covers.
  • Think twice about sending the same story pitch to multiple reporters.
  • Refrain from sending a manifesto. If you cannot summarize the story in a couple of sentences you might as well not bother sending it.
  • Make the subject line of your email newsy, not cutesy.
  • Take the time to learn and understand what exactly you are pitching. Be able to answer basic questions about your client’s business.
  • Be able to deliver on the promise. Don’t offer an executive for an interview and then not be able to produce him/her.

With Public Relations being such a competitive and fast paced industry, PR pros have to stand out in the crowd in order to gain a stable reputation as reliable and trustworthy individuals who are confident in pitching a newsworthy story to the proper outlet. Because let’s face it, even in this day and age social media will not get you everywhere.