Never Trust a PR

Never Trust a PR

This story was originally published by

If you work in or run a PR firm, the Herald's Alexandra Cain has these golden rules for you.

SHARE
THIS



I am sick and tired of being dudded by public relations people.

This morning I had an email from one of my contributors, after I had knocked back a story idea of his because we had just published a story about the company in question. He was perplexed that the PR would pitch him a story idea for the small business section, given she knew we were about to cover her client.

It’s unfortunately standard practice in the dark arts of public relations to try to pull the wool over journalists’ eyes. These people must think we’re stupid. Problem is, we’re not and PRs who do this do themselves no favours. The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago when a PR pitched a story to me about a new product. I thought it was a great idea for a story. (I’d love to name and shame the product and the PR, but doing so would just give them further attention and they don’t deserve it.)

After agreeing to the story and doing interviews, I discovered another section in this paper had already done the story the week earlier. We can’t publish the same story twice. The stupid PR wasted my time and her client’s and I’ll never trust another pitch from her again. I could go on. And on. What are these people thinking? Despite the actions of the numerous unethical PRs, all journalists rely on them to do their work. They are the gate keepers between us and senior executives; the guardians of an organisation’s reputation. And there are good ones out there.

The good PRs know the areas individual journalists write about and pitch appropriate story ideas to them. If a client has appeared recently in this publication and the PR pitches a story about the client, the PR will let the journalist know that. The good ones don’t argue with you when you decline a story pitch. They don’t incessantly pester you. And they don’t claim a story is exclusive when it’s already appeared in another publication.

There’s also another tell tale sign of a good PR: their emails are not excessively cheery. I receive numerous emails each day from PRs, often with whom I have no relationship, that go something like this:

Hi!!! Hope you’re well and have had a great weekend!!!??? I have a SUPER DOOPA AWESOME story that’s exclusively YOURS if you want it? Soooooo … what happened was that Jack and Jill went up the hill. Can you believe it??? They actually fetched a pail of water – I am NOT KIDDING!!! Anyways, Jack fell down and broke his crown and he and Jill would JUST LOVE to share all the GORY details. Sooooo much blood!!! How about coffee tomorrow? Love, Amanda xxx

There is so much wrong with this approach to pitching stories to journalists I barely know where to begin. The excessive use of exclamation marks. Unnecessary capitalisation. Ending a business email with love and kisses. The fact the story is not newsworthy.

Read the full article here

Please login with linkedin to comment

CHE Proximity The Insiders

Latest News

The Future Is Here: China Debuts AI News Anchor
  • Media
  • Technology

The Future Is Here: China Debuts AI News Anchor

Who said robots and artificial intelligence (AI) would steal jobs from hard-working humans? Quite a few people actually, and they weren’t wrong. A new AI bot has taken over the desk at China’s state-run Xinhua news network, with footage circulating of a nameless robotic anchor introducing itself and touting its ability to “work tirelessly” for […]

Leadership Transformation – What Does It Really Take?
  • Opinion

Leadership Transformation – What Does It Really Take?

Peter Shields (pictured below) is a transformational executive coach specialising in leadership transformation and author of the book Leadership Alchemy. In this guest post, Shields talks effective leadership and offers his tips on getting your style right… Effective leadership is vital to the success of any organisation. A well-led business knows where it’s going and what […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Network 10 Announced As The First Inductee To The Unltd: Hall Of Good
  • Media

Network 10 Announced As The First Inductee To The Unltd: Hall Of Good

UnLtd, our industry’s social purpose organisation, has announced Network 10 as the first inductee to the UnLtd: Hall of Good at the inaugural Big Dream event last night. The newly launched recognition award cannot be applied for and is earned through a demonstratable and impactful commitment to doing good. UnLtd CEO Chris Freel commented: “We […]

Bacardí & OMD Launch ‘Do What Moves You’ In Time For Summer
  • Campaigns

Bacardí & OMD Launch ‘Do What Moves You’ In Time For Summer

In partnership with OMD, BACARDÍ has launched a brand new campaign inspiring people to ‘Do What Moves You’ via a dance-inspired creative to a track by DJ trio, Major Lazer and choreographed by dance legends, Rich&Tone. ‘Do What Moves You’ is a cheeky play on both the physical freedom of letting go, moving and dancing and also […]

RAMS Encourages First Home Buyers To ‘Walk Like a RAM’ In New Spot Via Richards Rose
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

RAMS Encourages First Home Buyers To ‘Walk Like a RAM’ In New Spot Via Richards Rose

Home loan specialists RAMS have developed another phase for its ‘Greater Together’ brand strategy and platform via indie agency Richards Rose. The brief from RAMS was to build on the strong performance of the past work, but elevate the emotional intensity of the brand amongst first home buyers and self-employed, and really drive home a […]

WWF-Australia & Publicis Media Debut ‘Koala Museum’
  • Campaigns
  • Media

WWF-Australia & Publicis Media Debut ‘Koala Museum’

Publicis Media’s Content division has developed a unique activation in collaboration with Starcom, Habitat Media and WWF-Australia that gives Sydneysiders the chance to experience what a future without koalas in the wild could be like. The activation aims to raise awareness and encourage action on excessive tree-clearing now to ensure a future for the iconic […]

Pernod Ricard Wines Taps Cummins&Partners Sydney As Global Lead Strategic Agency
  • Media

Pernod Ricard Wines Taps Cummins&Partners Sydney As Global Lead Strategic Agency

Cummins&Partners Sydney has been appointed as the Lead Strategic Agency for Pernod Ricard Wine, specifically focused on Australian brands, As part of a new global agency structure. Global duties will begin immediately on three of its Australian Wine Brands including Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and I AM GEORGE. Cummins&Partners Sydney MD Kirsty Muddle said: “We […]

Remarkable Marketers: Meet Mars Food’s Matt McInnes
  • Marketing
  • Partner Content

Remarkable Marketers: Meet Mars Food’s Matt McInnes

There are some pretty remarkable people in our industry, each offering their own unique perspective to adland. While we spend so much time learning about our peers’ career highlights, B&T thought it high time to dig a little deeper, and find out what makes the shining stars of our industry tick and, at times, tock. […]

Partner Content

by Carat

72andSunny Sydney Announces String Of New Hires
  • Advertising

72andSunny Sydney Announces String Of New Hires

Following the recent executive creative director hire, Micah Walker, and new business wins of Optus, Paspaley and Vision Investment Group (VIG), 72andSunny Sydney has welcomed a number of key hires. The new hires include: Greg Fyson, executive producer: Fryson comes to 72andSunny with 15 years’ industry experience. Carving out his career as a TV Producer at BMF, Fryson […]

PHD Wins H&R Block’s $4 Million Media Account
  • Advertising
  • Media

PHD Wins H&R Block’s $4 Million Media Account

H&R Block has today announced PHD as their new media partner. The business was won in a non-competitive pitch after PHD completed a series of successful projects for the brand. The business is estimated to be worth $4 million annually and PHD will be responsible for all media planning and buying duties. The move will […]

Instagram Unveils New Shopping Tools
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Instagram Unveils New Shopping Tools

Ahead of the holiday gift-giving period, Instagram is introducing three new ways for users to shop on Instagram. The Facebook-owned social media platform is launching tools to discover new products, shop favourite brands and keep track of shopping inspiration in one place. Here are the three new ways to shop on Instagram: Save new shopping […]

RedBalloon Urges Shoppers To ‘Break With Tradition’ This Christmas
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

RedBalloon Urges Shoppers To ‘Break With Tradition’ This Christmas

Online experience retailer RedBalloon is urging consumers to ‘break with tradition’ this Christmas and rethink their approach to gifting, with a million-dollar campaign set to drive 1.6 purchases every minute between now and December 25. RedBalloon General Manager Matthew Cavalier said everyone has their own traditions at Christmas. The brand’s creative territory is about celebrating […]