How PR People Can Drive a Journalist Insane!

18 Apr

PR people can become so annoying to journalists after some time. Here are 10 things that PR people do to drive journalists crazy:

1) Always mentioning their product or corporation.

Just like every other human, journalists like to build relationships and not only talk business all day. Some PR people are so desperate to get their clients into the news that they fail to get to know the journalist and they, at times, even forget to be polite. Relationships can be built by simply conversing about something that is not work-related or even going out for coffee.

2) Sending countless news releases that bore the journalist to death.

As most people can imagine, a journalist’s inbox is filled with news releases. It makes it even worse when the subject line says “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.” As Jeff Houck, author of The Stew for the Tampa Tribune, shared, it is obvious that the news release is for immediate release since it has been sent to the reporter. PR people can spend a minute or two and be creative with their subject line. PR people not only want to catch the journalist’s attention but they can be nice and write something unique in the subject line.

3) Being too “wordy”

PR people can be too technical at times and add unnecessary words in a news release, e-mail, etc. Journalists like to get straight to the point they don’t want to read a person’s rambling about nothing. PR people should be considerate and be brief and concise when writing a journalist. Time is money and it should not be wasted on frivolous wording.

4) Not being in sync with the journalist’s timing.

Journalists may need a certain amount of time to work on a specific news story but the PR person may send information too late and then expect the story to be  published. PR people need to consider journalists and get an idea of how much time they need to get their story completed and work around their schedule.

5) Doing everything that they hate.

Along with developing relationships, PR people should also be polite and become familiar with the journalist’s pet peeves. That way, everyone is happy and their day will go by smoother.

6) Setting embargo dates

Journalists have plenty of things on their minds and do not have time to read something that they cannot work with right away. Information should not be shared at all with a reporter unless it is ready to be released. PR people need to send out their news releases when they need to be published.

7) Not writing in AP Style

Just like Public Relations, the journalism world is a fast-paced environment. No one has time to stop and edit a PR person’s AP Style errors. PR people need to become extremely familiar with the AP Stylebook since it is like the bible of PR and Journalism.

8)Fact errors

Fact checking takes some time. A journalist can publish a story a whole lot easier if the facts, dates, etc., have already been verified.

9) Being boring

After reading a countless amount of news releases, thing just start to blur for a journalist. Stories must not put the journalist to sleep but rather interest them. If it doesn’t interest the journalist, why would it interest the public?

10)Failure to get to the point quickly.


3 Responses to “How PR People Can Drive a Journalist Insane!”

  1. tara1md April 22, 2010 at 10:19 AM #

    I loved this blog. Your title was what caught my eye. The tips are incrediably helpful and I really enjoyed reading them. I am (hopping to be) a journalist and sometimes Im super confused about P.R. type things. This is helpful to both sides of the spectrum I think. Thanks!

  2. matthewcaudill April 30, 2010 at 4:27 PM #

    I love your list. I think numbers 10, 3, and 2, all go hand-in-hand. Wordy things are often boring, and they inherently never get to the point, and I bet number 1 could even be thrown in their too. Nothing is so boring as repetitiously plugging your product every other thought, but at least those kind of people are straightforward…

    And Fact Errors, oh my goodness. I just recently read a news article that made a simple tweet out to be a product boycott. Quite an embarrassment to say the least.


  1. Comments « Matthew Caudill's Blog - April 30, 2010

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