Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Attitudes Toward Journalists

Time and again over the years, I've been amazed at the attitudes public relations practitioners have exhibited to journalists -- both to their colleagues and to clients. If an interview didn't result in a story, it's because the reporter didn't understand the idea. If an interview got canceled at the last minute, the reporter who took that action was said to be disrepectful of a client's time.

While PR, like any industry, certainly has its frustrations, I firmly believe the prevailing attitude that PR practitioners have about journalists is one of the reasons that the industry sometimes has to overcome so many negative perceptions. Those views are also incredibly short-sighted. I can't tell you how many times I've had a reporter who respected the way I dealt with him to come back to me for a source following an initial contact that didn't result in a story or interview.

It's actually quite simple: reporters and editors, like many others, know a talented, prepared and professional individual when they see one. While I put my clients' interests first and foremost, I believe my experience having served as a journalist for CNN and other high-level outlets, gives me the ability to deliver a unique perspective to clients on media relations. I encourage my clients to view media relations as more of a marathon than a sprint, and I believe other practitioners would be well-advised to do the same. The profession will be better off for it.