Etikettarkiv: Media relations

PR’s and journalists – are we really that unprofessional?

Our level of professionalism is something I query every now and then. In particular when it comes to what is called “press contacts” in my line of business.

Let me explain with an example:

I am at interview (always there it happens) and the prospective employer asks me: Whom do you know at FT/the Economist/Computer World… (just pick your favourite news outlet).

The thinking being that as long as you know a journalist at these outlets your news will get printed. Seriously? Are we that unprofessional? Are journalists? Personally I am convinced that if a piece of news is of interest for that outlet, or rather its readers, it will get printed whether I know that journalist or not. OK, I understand that from a purely human angle it is easier to speak with, and listen too, someone you know – at least in a professional capacity – than a complete stranger. After all we’re only human, but evaluating if content are news worthy or not, surely that’s independent of personal ties?

It is my job as PR/Communications to explain to the eager person on my side of the fence that Yes, this is a completely new product it is of interest. No, bug fix number 1055 is not of interest even if it took you six months to fix it.

And I remain strong in my belief that if I indeed get to “know” the journalist, the outlet and its readers i.e. understand what triggers them and what they find interesting in what I might provide them with they will listen. Maybe not publish, I get that, but at least listen.

I must say that I find the approach above deplorable and unprofessional both concerning us as PR/Communicators and concerning journalists.

Or am I naïve?

Why does PR seemingly hate itself?

In one of his latest posts Craig Pearce is discussing why PR very often now is called Stakeholder Relations and discusses in some length different nomenclature of PR. I can only agree, but would like to ask one question he isn’t asking – why does it seem that PR:s are into self-loathing like this? And are we? Is it just a mis-conception?

I personally think I’m lucky to work with PR. I love my job, I enjoy finding out about an audience and how best to craft a message it will relate to. But is it only “the evil media relations and spinning falsehoods ” to use a quote from Craig Pearce? And what more, why doesn’t seem like we want to take the fight and to stand up straight and be proud?

Is it due to lack of professional pride we see new terms like CSR, stakeholder relations etc. creep up? Which under the surface both are little more than public relations in new wrapping?

Or is it like a bigger writer once put it

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?