S%#T
PR PEOPLEdo
that
HATE
JOURNALISTS
Breaking News
A lot of conventional PR tactics are spammy and frustrating to
journalists. We want them to get our name in ...
Hi,
I saw you wrote an exciting piece on Cuba last week and I
ate a Cuban sandwich for lunch today and thought you may
lik...
JOURNALISTS
HATE THAT
S%#T
SO, WHAT SEPARATES THE PR FOES
FROM THE
PR PROS?
TO FIND OUT, WE DID SOME INVESTIGATIVE
REPORTING OURSELVES AND ASKED JOURNALISTS:
WHAT S%#T DO PR PEOPLE
DO THAT YOU HATE?
Their feedback was
BRUTALLY
INSIGHTFUL
“I don't mind being approached by PR people since I need
104 column ideas every year, but I hate it when they are canned, ...
Period.”
When they call
you on the phone.“
Borzou Daragahi, The Financial Times
@borzou
Click to tweet
this quote.
“ALL CAPS. They drive me
batty. So many
publicists seem to think that if they PUT THIS IN
THE SUBJECT LINE, I'll be more l...
“One time, a PR person called me on
the phone and said ‘my tracking
software says you didn't open my email
so I'm calling ...
“Advice: tailor your pitch and have
modest goals. If your client is
genuinely insignificant, you're not
going to get a nati...
I find the practice of Googling a topic or competitive company, then emailing
every single writer whose article comes up, t...
Sound
familiar?
I hate it when PR people explain what an embargo is. I know
what an embargo is, don't tell me and remind me twice. I also
...
More an issue with big company PR: being
intrusive during interviews/visits, and
generally killing the human/real side of ...
“Good PR people know that some news just isn't a fit and that it's best to let the
journalist pass rather than hurting your...
“Dropping the boss’ name. ‘Oh,
Rupert Murdoch LOVES this
company so we wanted to fill you
in on it too.’ If you think mr. b...
“Call me repeatedly without
leaving a voicemail. This
ensures that when I do pick up
their call, I’m extra annoyed
and obl...
“My favorite quote from a PR guy:
This struck me as counterintuitive. Wasn’t he supposed to be nice to me? Was
this some n...
“Trying to dictate or get involved with editorial decisions. When will
your story run? Can I review your article before it...
“I honestly can't wait for the day when companies realize that
they're all publishers now, and just publish what they want...
“Just FYI,sending a follow-up email
flagged as high priority after I
ignore your first PR pitch
gives me a legal right to
ha...
“Just FYI,sending a follow-up email
flagged as high priority after I
ignore your first PR pitch
gives me a legal right to
ha...
25
So now that we've listed
out the things that really
drive journalists batty,
what's a marketer to do
to be smart and lo...
Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote
about X company, want to write about Y compan...
Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote
about X company, want to write about Y compan...
Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote
about X company, want to write about Y compan...
1
Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote
about X company, want to write about Y comp...
WHAT’S YOUR MOST
effective PR tactic?
Leave a comment here, share your thoughts on
our blog, or tweet at @HubSpot. We’d lov...
S%#t PR People Do That Journalists Hate
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S%#t PR People Do That Journalists Hate

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  • I think that a lot of PR professionals are seeing the need to shift toward a more journalistic approach. We just had someone from a PR company write an article as a guest blogger on our site about the need for PR professionals to adopt content marketing tactics. It's an interesting read if you have a minute http://www.enveritasgroup.com/2013/07/10/how-is-content-marketing-changing-the-game-of-public-relations/

    Great post here. Very interesting to read the feedback that you receive from the journalistic side of things.
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S%#t PR People Do That Journalists Hate

  1. 1. S%#T PR PEOPLEdo that HATE JOURNALISTS
  2. 2. Breaking News A lot of conventional PR tactics are spammy and frustrating to journalists. We want them to get our name in the news, but many of us PR people go about it all wrong. Instead of building relationships with journalists, we tend to force one-way conversations that go something like this…
  3. 3. Hi, I saw you wrote an exciting piece on Cuba last week and I ate a Cuban sandwich for lunch today and thought you may like to interview me for your magazine. Your readers would love it. I’ll give you a call tomorrow morning if I don’t hear back. Thanks! To: Journalist Jim From: PR Polly Subject: SANDWICH ANNOUNCEMENT
  4. 4. JOURNALISTS HATE THAT S%#T
  5. 5. SO, WHAT SEPARATES THE PR FOES FROM THE PR PROS?
  6. 6. TO FIND OUT, WE DID SOME INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING OURSELVES AND ASKED JOURNALISTS: WHAT S%#T DO PR PEOPLE DO THAT YOU HATE?
  7. 7. Their feedback was BRUTALLY INSIGHTFUL
  8. 8. “I don't mind being approached by PR people since I need 104 column ideas every year, but I hate it when they are canned, self indulgent, and boring. Make the effort to know my readers and my style, be creative, and by all means please, please, please don't bore me.” Kevin Daum, Inc. @AwesomeROAR
  9. 9. Period.” When they call you on the phone.“ Borzou Daragahi, The Financial Times @borzou Click to tweet this quote.
  10. 10. “ALL CAPS. They drive me batty. So many publicists seem to think that if they PUT THIS IN THE SUBJECT LINE, I'll be more likely to read it. Exact opposite. When I see a subject line in all- caps, it goes straight to my trash. ” Jeff Wilser, Writer @jeffwilser
  11. 11. “One time, a PR person called me on the phone and said ‘my tracking software says you didn't open my email so I'm calling to follow up.’ Thanks, but no thanks.” Ben Smith, Buzzfeed @buzzfeedben
  12. 12. “Advice: tailor your pitch and have modest goals. If your client is genuinely insignificant, you're not going to get a national outlet to write a story about them. Figure out the broader story they're part of and point out how their expertise might be relevant in that context. And have low expectations: you’re going to strike out most of the time.” David Lynch, Bloomberg News @davidjlynch
  13. 13. I find the practice of Googling a topic or competitive company, then emailing every single writer whose article comes up, to be a huge waste of time. You know, emails that start “Hi Anthony, I saw that you wrote about [company I wrote about once, a year ago, in an area that I have no interest in but was asked to cover by my editor], so I thought you might be interested in ..." Anthony Ha, TechCrunch @anthonyha
  14. 14. Sound familiar?
  15. 15. I hate it when PR people explain what an embargo is. I know what an embargo is, don't tell me and remind me twice. I also hate it when people follow up with a phone call to ask if I got their email. Here's the thing about email: it works. I received your email, I just don't want to do what you're asking me to do.” Alex Wilhelm, The Next Web @alex “ Click to tweet this quote.
  16. 16. More an issue with big company PR: being intrusive during interviews/visits, and generally killing the human/real side of the story that wants to come out, and making the chat too corporate. “Greg Huang, Xconomy @gthuang
  17. 17. “Good PR people know that some news just isn't a fit and that it's best to let the journalist pass rather than hurting your relationship. Most journalists have a mental blacklist or inbox rule blocking you if you're a real nuisance. In some cases you'll be publicly blacklisted like this and this. You are a nuisance if you email the same thing 4 times without response, if you call at ungodly hours, or if you block the way to the washroom to pitch your story.” Dana Oshiro, Code for America @danaoshiro
  18. 18. “Dropping the boss’ name. ‘Oh, Rupert Murdoch LOVES this company so we wanted to fill you in on it too.’ If you think mr. big will cover your crap, let him write the story and leave me out of it. Name dropping only makes us crankier than normal.” Barb Darrow, GigaOm @gigabarb Click to tweet this quote.
  19. 19. “Call me repeatedly without leaving a voicemail. This ensures that when I do pick up their call, I’m extra annoyed and oblivious to their pitch.” J.J. Colao, Forbes @JJColao
  20. 20. “My favorite quote from a PR guy: This struck me as counterintuitive. Wasn’t he supposed to be nice to me? Was this some new tough-love public relations strategy? Scratching my head over the unpleasant exchange, I walked away thinking: Why yogurt?” ‘If you print that story you’ll be knee-deep in yogurt.’ Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times @JeffreyLAT
  21. 21. “Trying to dictate or get involved with editorial decisions. When will your story run? Can I review your article before it's published? Will you agree to publish this story in a certain manner of my preference? The answer to all of the above is ‘That's between me and my editor, and f#^& you for asking.’” Curt Woodward, Xconomy @CurtWoodward
  22. 22. “I honestly can't wait for the day when companies realize that they're all publishers now, and just publish what they want to put out there rather than trying to pay someone to ‘place’ a story.” Curt Woodward, Xconomy @CurtWoodward
  23. 23. “Just FYI,sending a follow-up email flagged as high priority after I ignore your first PR pitch gives me a legal right to harm you.” !Zach Epstein, BGR @zacharye
  24. 24. “Just FYI,sending a follow-up email flagged as high priority after I ignore your first PR pitch gives me a legal right to harm you.” !Zach Epstein, BGR @zacharye It’s a law. More or less.
  25. 25. 25 So now that we've listed out the things that really drive journalists batty, what's a marketer to do to be smart and lovable in their PR efforts?
  26. 26. Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote about X company, want to write about Y company in their industry tomorrow?" never works, so invest the time to understand a reporter's beat and recent coverage before hitting the "send" button. 1
  27. 27. Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote about X company, want to write about Y company in their industry tomorrow?" never works, so invest the time to understand a reporter's beat and recent coverage before hitting the "send" button. Put Down the Phone: If a reporter doesn't respond to your email or social media interaction, adding a phone call, telegram, fax, or carrier pigeon to the mix likely isn't going to break through the clutter. Leave the phone calls for reporters you know well or requested follow-ups for information -- cold calling is highly unlovable. 1 2
  28. 28. Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote about X company, want to write about Y company in their industry tomorrow?" never works, so invest the time to understand a reporter's beat and recent coverage before hitting the "send" button. Put Down the Phone: If a reporter doesn't respond to your email or social media interaction, adding a phone call, telegram, fax, or carrier pigeon to the mix likely isn't going to break through the clutter. Leave the phone calls for reporters you know well or requested follow-ups for information -- cold calling is highly unlovable. Don't Act Desperate: Exclamation points, all caps, and high priority notifications signify that the email is HIGHLY IMPORTANT to YOU, not to the reporter you're sending it to. Skip the theatrics and focus on a clear, concise story to drive engagement. 1 2 3
  29. 29. 1 Go Beyond Google: We heard loud and clear that a quick "I saw that you wrote about X company, want to write about Y company in their industry tomorrow?" never works, so invest the time to understand a reporter's beat and recent coverage before hitting the "send" button. 2 Put Down the Phone: If a reporter doesn't respond to your email or social media interaction, adding a phone call, telegram, fax, or carrier pigeon to the mix likely isn't going to break through the clutter. Leave the phone calls for reporters you know well or requested follow-ups for information -- cold calling is highly unlovable. 3 Don't Act Desperate: Exclamation points, all caps, and high priority notifications signify that the email is HIGHLY IMPORTANT to YOU, not to the reporter you're sending it to. Skip the theatrics and focus on a clear, concise story to drive engagement. 4 Be Prepared: "Be Prepared" isn't just for Boy Scouts. Like the rest of us, reporters don't like rushing around for an embargoed story because your materials weren't ready in time. Give reporters adequate time to respond to, act upon, react to, and file a given story.
  30. 30. WHAT’S YOUR MOST effective PR tactic? Leave a comment here, share your thoughts on our blog, or tweet at @HubSpot. We’d love to hear how you work with journalists.
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