Basically, journalists and publicists will never see eye to eye. Although a journalist needs a PR professional to accomplish a majority of his or her stories, they will never fully admit it. Journalists view PR professionals as the “spin doctor”. They pretty much see PR professionals as an annoyance.
It is understandable why journalists get frustrated with PR professionals, though. Imagine if you inbox’s (e-mail and voice-mail) were filled with pitches, news releases, media kits and unsolicited calls. That would get pretty annoying. Trying to sort through what is good and bad would be a complete pain in the behind if I’d say so myself.
But, it is extremely important to develop a positive relationship with reporters when you are in the field of PR.
To develop a positive relationship, PR professionals should begin to research the journalist. Following their research, they need to:
- Be familiar with that particular journalist’s editorial requirements and format
- Write effectively and sufficiently
- Avoid too many unsolicited e-mails and phone calls
- Be knowledgeable about their product/service.
All in all, the media relies on PR efforts. It ends up saving them time, money and effort. “The purpose of PR is to inform, to shape opinions and attitudes and to motivate” (P. 247).