The media world is filled with fraught relationships. Perhaps none more so than the interplay between reporters and public relations people.
The heart of the many disagreements between these two camps is that one camp wishes the other didn’t exist, or at least existed in far fewer numbers. And yet, the relationship is symbiotic, however mutually disdainful. Journalists call PR folks “flacks,” and they reciprocate with the pejorative “hacks.”
We used our own experience, as well as those from other reporters who love to complain, to come up with a quick guide for PR pros to the things that drive reporters nuts. Because sometimes it’s OK to hate the playa and the game.
1. The overuse of “thrilled.”
You know it’s a press release when someone is thrilled. Disingenuous isn’t strong enough to describe this.
2. The infographic “exclusive.”
A “visualized” press release is still a press release.
3. The dial-in conference number.
There was a time when two people could have a conversation without three other people silently listening in.
4. The call to follow up on emails.
There’s probably a reason you didn’t get a response the first time.
5. Re-sending emails that got no response.
Again, sometimes silence actually speaks volumes.
6. The exclusive that isn’t.
We get the press release 15 minutes early? Whose ring can we kiss? Should the bow be at precisely 90 degrees?
7. The brochure turned “contributed piece.”
Turning a sales deck into narrative form does not make it an editorial piece.
8. “Sharing this with you under NDA.”
This is DOA.
9. The presumed embargo.
Wait, when did I agree to this?
10. The presumptuous meeting.
I’m meeting with who? Why? What is this calendar invite? What’s Admonger anyway?
11. The pitch that’s the exact story I just wrote, only with your source.
I’ve moved on. You should, too.
12. Using personal information from social media in pitches.
This isn’t clever; it’s creepy.
13. The hug.
No, I’m not comfortable.
14. The big-time.
Copying my boss won’t help, it will make your future emails mysteriously land in my spam folder.
15. Sending copies of marketing books.
Nobody reads these. Nobody.
16. Babysitting in-person meetings.
A coffee where two people are talking and one is observing isn’t normal.
17. The guilt trip.
I know you have client pressures, but journalists have no feelings.
18. The client audit request.
You’re pitching a new client, but that doesn’t mean I’m your free focus group.
19. The Valentine’s Day card.
20. The sly mention your client is an advertiser.
Not subtle. Not effective.
21. Playing gatekeeper.
You mean I’m risking not getting that pre-brief?
22. Facebook friend requests.
How well do we really know each other?
23. Asking to review quotes for the “story angle.”
You sound nervous. Are you nervous? Why would you be nervous?
24. The “deskside briefing.”
Sounds like a surgical procedure performed on the reporter.
25. The Webex.
Nobody ever talks about a good Webexing.
Image via Shutterstock
How newsroom unions intervene when members get laid off
Amid the recent wave of media layoffs, here are some of the ways newsroom unions are intervening.
Despite Q1’s slow start, publishers are bullish about events revenue for 2023
Publishers like BDG and Apartment Therapy are banking on events revenue to give them a leg up in 2023.
Media Briefing: The case for and against monthly and annual subscriptions in the battle for retention
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions for improving retention in a subscriptions business. While annual subscribers might stick around longer for some, other publishers will have better luck with monthly plans.
SponsoredHow Rumpl and Replacements got creative with CTV ad production and media buys
Sponsored by MNTN This year, marketers are balancing multiple priorities, including the convergence of two trends: the growth of CTV advertising and economic uncertainty impacting ad budgets. To keep costs low while generating ROI, savvy brands are embracing innovative approaches to production and media buys. These tactics allow advertisers to continue reaching audiences on CTV […]
Digiday+ Research: The economy will hit the media and marketing industries this year, but differently
The economy will plague both the media and marketing industries in 2023, but the hit will be uneven between publishers and agencies.
Podcast ad buyers have yet to see a slowdown
Ad buyers have yet to see clients cut their podcast budgets – though the time of podcasts as the shiny new medium may be coming to an end.