PRWeek has run a survey to see what journalists and PRs really think of each other. Overall it seems that journalists are a bit down on the PR community, certainly in comparison to the PRs’ views but the survey does raise some interesting questions about how well both sides understand the pressures and constraints each other work under.
There are a few key lessons that can be taken away by PRs who want to pitch stories. This comment by a journalist; “PRs are not spending enough time reading the papers, websites and magazines they are pitching to”, ought to be a relatively quick fix (if it’s not already being done by junior PRs – it should be) and could mean the difference between your story getting covered or going into the bin.
Another lesson for PRs or even spokespeople comes from this PR’s quote; “Budget cuts in local media mean there are more unqualified reporters churning out inaccurate copy than there should be”. Another PR said; “Journos often suffer from lack of resource and time, with not enough staff.” The huge change in resources that the media has available is not a new factor, but it does mean that if you are pitching to a journalist you should be sympathetic to the pressure they are under. The more you can assist the journalist by being timely, accurate and available when they need to speak, the more likely they will be to come back to you in future, thus building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Read the full PRWeek article here: http://www.prweek.com/article/1407128/hacks-vs-flacks-survey-half-prs-dont-cut-it-say-journalists
Written by Will Edwards – www.bluewoodtraining.com