Sadly, the days of us journalists and PROs enjoying ourselves by going out for boozy lunches and extravagant dinners with each other are long gone. Sigh. But that doesn’t mean we can’t improve how we get along, so here are my top tips for helping me to help you.
1. Read the paper you are pitching to. Just a quick glance of the publication will suffice. Then you won’t waste your time pitching ideas that we couldn’t possibly be interested in. One common mistake is to hassle publications to print news stories when the publications are features-based and don’t run new stories. Although why a news magazine would be interested every time you have a new recruit is a mystery.
2. Don’t be rude. A lot of us don’t have the fortune (we have the talent, naturally!) of working for the most prestigious publications, but that doesn’t mean we have to be grateful for every small crumb of information you extend to us. Please don’t make it clear how insignificant you consider our magazine or paper to be.
3. Don’t be lazy. It is amazing how often PROs seem to have no real understanding of the business of their clients. This means they pitch ideas that are simply irrelevant to the market place.
4. Don’t be obstructive. When a story is out there (usually on Twitter) there is no point refusing to give information to journalists, as the sooner you get the right facts out, the better. If you want to control what the media say, withholding information has to be just about the worst tactic.
5. Don’t ask if you can look at the copy before it goes to press. If we wanted you to write the story, we would have asked you.