Mallory Boulware

This is a blog for PR Writing

TOW 13: How to Annoy a Journalist April 13, 2010

Filed under: COMM 4333,T.O.W. — mbboulware @ 2:16 pm

I researched where/when/why and how PR people can sometimes drive journalists crazy. I found a blog that a technology columnist posted about the same topic. He mentioned these things:

  1. Rude responses when asked questions– If a PR person is concerned about the reason the question is being asked, they should respond politely but showing that they are still professional.
  2. When people need to “verify credentials,” meaning, they don’t want to look it up on their own– Instead of asking them in response, PR people should try “Googling” them to find out themselves.
  3. When someone asks how the review of their products/services are going– PR people should give journalists time to write them instead of questioning them and wasting their time.
  4. When people do not think about timezones– Always check to make sure you are not calling someone in the middle of the night!]
  5. When PR people ask to review their documents before they go to press– Trust the journalists!
  6. When PR people make “deals” with journalists about giving them exclusive news if they publish their story– Don’t do that!

Another Blogger from Project PR said these things:

  1. When they do not “do their homework” to find out what types of stuff the company publishes– Never assume anything, always read up.
  2. Generic press releases– Journalists see so many press releases so it is important to make sure yours sticks out from any other.
  3. When they have never even seen a copy of the company’s publication– Don’t be stupid. Again, read up.
  4. When they don’t know who the publication’s readers are– Find this out before you contact any journalist or you will look stupid and really annoy them.

Hopefully now we can all know the basics of what NOT to do to get under a journalists skin!

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3 Responses to “TOW 13: How to Annoy a Journalist”

  1. A few of the things that you said within your post stood out to me. They are specifically things that I did not find when I did my research for this blog post. The first one is “When people need to “verify credentials,” meaning, they don’t want to look it up on their own– Instead of asking them in response, PR people should try “Googling” them to find out themselves.” This makes sense, but I am sure it happens all the time and journalists probably get very irritated. Another thing that I found interesting was, “When people do not think about timezones– Always check to make sure you are not calling someone in the middle of the night!” This seems like common sense, but it is little things like this that would be easy to forget, and can actually ruin relationships with journalists.

  2. […] to Boulware: Obviously there are many things PR professionals can do to annoy journalists, and I think this is […]


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