Top 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Annoy a Journalist

Public relations practitioners rely on journalists to be successful in gaining coverage for their clients. Journalists rely on public relations experts to provide newsworthy leads and stories so that they can focus on other breaking news, editing and many other duties of their active role.

 Why then, is there such a divide between the two industries?

Well, we could go back and forth on opinions from both sides for days.

But in the meantime, consider some of the tweets from journalists on the Twitter account, @DearPR.

1)   “Hey @DearPR: If you lie to me, I will never work with you again.”

Don’t lie. Be open and tactful with your journalist. If you don’t know something, find out. Don’t make it up.

2)   “@DearPR: Your pole dance pitch was probably not sent to the right person. #mailmerge”

Be relevant. Check and double check to whom you are sending your pitch, and make sure that your client / topic / geographical location is something that they typically cover.

3)   “@DearPR: The mere act of putting up a new sign at your place of business probably doesn’t warrant a red “!” in your email.”

Be newsworthy. Think of the reader. If you were reading the morning news, would you want to read your story, or would you think it was a waste of time?

4)   “@DearPR: Sending a 7MB evite attachment will only crash my email, not entice me with flashy graphics.”

Don’t require the recipient to download images or open attachments. Not only do emails with images and attachments regularly get sent to the spam folder, but they also take up the journalist’s time requiring an extra step to get your pitch. And, journalists are just as timid of opening a virus as you are.

5)   “@DearPR: Pitch: ‘Dear {First Name}.’ Response: add sender to blocked list. Hope client didn’t pay them more than they’d pay a spammer.”

Be personal and pay attention to detail. This goes hand–in–hand with being relevant. Know your audience. Don’t send someone who covers breaking news a story about a product release, and don’t call the journalist Ryan when his name is Brian.

As PR professionals, it is pivotal that we pay attention to detail, creatively construct honest newsworthy stories, and stay considerate of journalists’ time.

 What are some of your tips for staying on the good side of media?

National Public Relations Firm