In every career or field of work, there are people who are required to work with each other to accomplish certain tasks. In the field of media, Public Relations professionals and Journalists cross paths on a daily basis, and need each other to fully complete each of their jobs. However, there are certain things that those working in the Public Relations industry can do to severely annoy Journalists. In this post, I hope to reveal some of those annoyances, to make you aware of what to do – or what not to do, rather, to maintain a peaceful, successful working environment.

1. Constantly sounding like a advertisement. When someone working in the Public Relations industry, and is corresponding with a Journalist, it is highly irritating to the Journalist when they write news pitches, emails, or even speak in-person in an overly scripted tone. This tone comes out stuffy and cold, rather than educated and knowledgeable. Journalists tend to not understand certain phrases that PR’s use, so it is best to speak conversationally, yet professionally at the same time.

2. Pitching as if selling a timeshare, rather than a story. When a Journalist takes the time to listen to a pitch from someone in Public Relations, they want to hear the pitch for the story in a conversational style, rather than hearing the facts and statistics about the company to convince the Journalist to take the story.

3. Becoming suddenly silent. As a Public Relations professional, it is important to maintain connections! If you have begun working with and building a relationship with a specific Journalist, it is important to maintain that connection and continue to work with that Journalist, and not become suddenly silent or go AWOL.

4. Sending press releases that are irrelevant or unimportant. Journalists become extremely annoyed if they continually receive press releases that are irrelevant or a waste of their time.

5. Writing an article, rather than a press release. Since it is the Journalist’s job to write the article, they can become very annoyed when someone in Public Relations sends them a pitch written as an article. It is best for the Public Relations professional to simply write the press release, so the Journalist is able to write the article in their own way.

6. Writing press releases that are too lengthy. Since Journalists receive many press releases and news pitches a day, they become very annoyed when they receive a press release that is unnecessarily long. Writing a press release that is short, sweet, and concise gives it the greatest chance of being accepted by the Journalist.

7. Failing to answer a Journalist’s question or give them what they ask for. Since Journalists work within strict time restraints, they can become very annoyed if the PR fails to answer specific questions they ask, or provide photos, etc., within a timely manner.

8. Using quotes without using names. When sending a Journalist a pitch or press release, it is imperative to attach names to any and all qoutes from a study. Otherwise, the press release loses legitimacy.

9. Sending files improperly. Although this may seem elementary, it is common sense that if the press release is attached improperly or the file is corrupt, the Journalist will be unable to open the file and read the press release, and he or she most likely will not contact the Public Relations “professional” to ask for it to be sent again.

10. Trying to make something “work” when it clearly doesn’t. If the Journalist is looking for a specific story, they can become very annoyed if someone in PR relentlessly pursues them, trying to pitch a story to them that will not work for what they are looking for.

All of the information in this post I found from several other internet sites, including the following: Alex Blyth, Publicity Heaven, and Meryl’s Notes Blog.

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