It is of no coincidence that I chose the topic of what someone in pr – who doesn’t want to drive journalists out of this world – should never ever do, as my first topic. Being in the lucky position that I am, namely that I also work as a journalist enabling me to see both sides of the story, it is worth to take the following advice…
- Don’ t be a hunter!
This might be the first and most important rule. Nothing is more irritating than to be hunted by a PR manager. In most cases the journalists have probably received the invitation and they also planned to respond to it. If no response is received by the given date, a polite phone call or e-mail will do. But only one, not one in every hour! Those who were „forced” to visit a PR event will never publish any relevant contents, or what’s worst, will publish something that would have rather been left unpublished. If the only option is to hunt the journalists, you’d better choose paid contents.
- Don’t be arrogant!
This is based on the outdated perception that journalists will go anywhere for the catering. Fortunately a new generation of journalists, including me as well, have grown up without any interest towards a PR event’s fingerfood. They are open to new ideas, and though they might appreciate good catering, they will never appear on an event for a free meal only. For definitely not. The reason they take part is to spread to word about that given product, service or event. A good PR manager’s most important task is to make them feel happy about it.
- Don’t SPAM!
Don’t waste your own and the journalists’ time with pointless e-mails. There is no need to send out 5 reminders, one is absolutely enough. There is also no point sending long, meaningless messages. Be definite and bear in mind that journalists get millions of invitations, press releases and other e-mails each day. You’d rather make your contents outstandingly interesting and relevant to help ease both of your jobs.
- Don’t be high-minded!
Many still think that journalists are not professionals, but keep scribbling all kinds of stories, therefore PR managers are likely to hit the wrong tone with them. Extreme exceptions can occur in any fields of life, but until no bad experience, everyone should be able to respect the work of the journalists. Don’t forget that they are the key to your message to reach your desired customers.
- Don’t cross the line!
It is very important to keep a good relationship with journalists. Nevertheless always make sure you don’t cross the imaginary line. This is pure psychology. You mustn’t be too kind, too matey or ask indiscreet questions. Those usually result in no-go situations and could be displeasing for both parties.