Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

The things journalists hate about PRs (part 2)

Posted by Graham Hayday on September 21, 2007

This post is the second in a series. If you missed yesterday’s exciting installment and have no idea what this post is about, click here.

Conference calls/speakerphone
I used to hate interviewing people by conference call. I remember one time when there were three people on the line to me, one (largely silent) PR exec and two company executives who sounded identical and were both called David. Nightmare.

Having said that, it’s a brave PR indeed who lets a gung-ho CEO off the leash and then has no warning of the headlines that will appear once s/he has announced something they really shouldn’t have done.  

Asking if other journalists (rival or not) can be “in on” the same interview
I’ve never experienced this but a journalist friend of mine has. Bizarre. And very, very wrong.

PRs who butt in and start asking their clients questions in interviews thinking they’re trying to be helpful…
Another one that’s understandable if, as a PR exec, you’re sitting with a client who’s forgotten why they’re talking to the media in the first place. But butting in should be a last resort. 

Not ringing back when the PR says they will (e.g. within deadline)
An obvious one. Very bad practice.

Not understanding the concept of deadline
In other words, ringing at the wrong time, or sounding shocked when a hack on a daily newspaper or news-driven website needs to speak to a company spokesman immediately. That is not an unreasonable request.

The third and final post on this topic will appear shortly. Unless I get a sudden urge to ring up a load of journalists to see if they’ve received our latest press release.


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