What, you can’t type a simple “No, thank you?”
The top item on our recent guest listicle “5 Things PR Does That Piss off the Media” was “send too many press releases.”
OK, but are we really the bad guys here? What about the things they do that piss us off?
On that note, the PRSA feels like the New York Times “Haggler” may have been a bit too broad in his earlier denunciation of the industry. Of course president/CEO William Murray agrees that “Well-targeted pitches not only build healthy relationships with reporters, but make good business sense” while overdoing it is a guaranteed way to sour such a relationship.
But Murray’s main concern stems from the Haggler’s suggestion that orgs like PRSA stop providing media databases in order to reduce the amount of “spam” that finds its way into the inboxes of journalists such as himself. That’s a bit like “ blaming Microsoft or Google” for every sales spam message that you didn’t sign up for this holiday season. Also: every trade group/industry blog offers readers guides on better pitching.
In short, this is a two way street—and it’s not like journalists are perfect people. One commentor wrote of his irritation with so many writers’ “inability to just say no” with a polite response to each pitch.
We’ve yet to formally start compiling our own “Things The Media Does That Piss Off PR” List, but we do think “dismissing an entire industry based on the actions of a few” will fit nicely. And we like Murray’s conclusion:
I’ve got to clean out my own inbox, which is full of consulting pitches, offers to buy mailing lists, and offers from hotels and event management companies. Oh yes, and I promised myself that I’d clean my apartment and take the rest of those annoying newspaper circulars to the recycling bin – gosh, they pile up so quickly!
Help us out here, readers: we may agree that not all PR pros have mastered the art of the pitch, but what can journalists do to make the relationship a little more beneficial to all parties?
We see it as a premature Christmas present. And please feel free to remain anonymous. There’s a tip box to the right.