Porch Light - PR, Media Relations, MarketingPorch Light - PR, Media Relations, Marketing
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by Jennifer Chan

Have you ever Googled “why journalists hate PR people?” It’s not pretty. The comments can be brutal and make you seriously question your chosen profession. That said, when you actually read what peeves journalists about people in PR, I get why most of them would be annoyed.

That said, the simplest and best piece of advice I ever received in journalism school (yes, PR people can get journalism degrees too) is always put yourself in the journalists shoes. Select journalists are never going to be receptive to PR reps and you just have to shake it off and move on. But today’s 24/7 news cycle means reporters are always seeking new content and if you learn to be a resource, not a hindrance, then you can create a working relationship that is mutually beneficial. A few tactics include:

  • Know when journalists hold their editorial meetings (it may be that the story idea you emailed an evening news reporter at 1:30pm is a topic of discussion and considered for coverage during their 2:45pm meeting)
  • If you have an idea for a story, be prepared to give them sources in addition to your client. If your client is the “expert,” have a customer available as well. It’s a news story, not an advertorial.
  • Think about the headline and how the story might do online. Journalists are now beholden to measuring digital readership and social media sharing. Make sure it’s something that can be compelling when written as a feature and when used in social media
  • Give reporters the pieces to put the puzzle together. Provide multiple sources with contact information and good images with captions. Anything you can do to save time on their end will be remembered when you reach out again.
  • It’s been said again and again, but know their name and how to spell it!

Bottom line. Do your research, be concise, be prepared and be responsive because we could all use a little less hate in the world.

About jennifer
Jen is Porch Light’s public relations pro. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Magazine Journalism, she worked at public relations firms in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and finally back here in the Hoosier state. Her former clients include: The Peninsula Chicago, Kenneth Cole, American Eagle Outfitters, Jamba Juice, Sprint PCS and IBM.

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