My Media Matters blog this week detailed some tips for public relations professionals when dealing with journalists. It received quite a reaction – some positive (mainly from other journalists) and some negative (mainly from PRs).
One particular Dublin-based public relations agency took it upon themselves to write a response and I believe it would be remiss of me not to share it. The agency in question wished to remain anonymous (lest they annoy some of the more “sensitive” journalists among us). I thank them for their input – hell, I might even respond to their e-mails from time to time now!
Don’t tell us you will cover something and don’t. We know things can change but a heads up would be great.
Tell us if you’re interested or if you’re not. Then we can all move on and avoid the awkward follow up e-mails and calls. A simple no is perfect!
Understand (as we do) your job is to sell newspapers. Our job is to sell our clients.
Don’t, as many Sunday paper journalists do, ring at 5.30pm on Friday afternoon for a comment when you really don’t want it.
Don’t assume we’re giving you an exclusive. If we don’t say it’s an exclusive, it’s not, don’t come back crying to us if you presume so.
Don’t hang up on follow-up calls – It doesn’t hurt to be nice!
Don’t think you have a monopoly of ethics.
Don’t expect/ask for freebies and not even send a thank you e-mail in return!