Public Relations professionals and journalists have had a long history with one another. We depend on them to get our stories out, and they depend on us to get exclusive information. Even so, this relationship can sometimes be rocky. I know in my experience, I was terrified to call or contact journalists in any way. My perception of them was altered by the horror stories of failed relationships and broken camaraderies I’ve heard about and learned in school. PR Daily published an article this week entitled “Why reporters hate PR pros so much?” It explains why we as PR professionals have a duty to fully understand and form genuine relationships with journalists.
- Read what the reporter writes: Don’t just skim, actually take time to read a few different articles he or she wrote. Are they sarcastic, quirky, or witty writers? Then you should be too. Complement their personal style with similar techniques in your writing
- Find out his/her interests outside of writing: In this case it’s okay to cyber stalk your perspective journalists. Amid the grueling hours of the journalism profession, they have lives as well. If you’re not pitching a story about a subject they write about professionally, they might write the story anyway if it’s something of interest to them.
- Subject – “Not a Pitch”: Check in with reporters, just to see how they’re doing, building real relationships is key in public relations.
- Be Genuine: Most PR professionals have taken a journalism class or two and genuinely can appreciate the journalism profession as a whole. Building genuine relationships is a clear part of public relations; if this is something you’re not interested in, choose another profession.
The article suggests there are clearly holes in our profession. Journalists don’t rant on Twitter about PR pitches in their inbox for no reason. Now is the time to change the face of our beloved profession.
Summary by Chelsea Waddell, Account Coordinator.
Upon graduation in December, Chelsea hopes to find employment at a public relations agency or in entertainment PR. If you want to see more of Chelsea you can follow her Twitter page, @_allaboutchels and connect with her on LinkedIn.