Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Media Myths

There are lots of misconceptions about the media. Here are a few.

I need to ring journalists to make sure they have received my press release, and see if they are going to use it

Er...No. This is the first job given to a press office trainee to make them realise that it is not a good idea. Never pester a journalist about press releases. They'll contact you if they want more information.

I should ignore freelance journalists - they move around too much

No again. Freelance journalists should be cultivated, because they move around. They work for more journals and broadcasters, are more experienced, and likely to be career professionals. Aim at developing a long-term relationship with them.

I need to wine and dine editors

That's fine if you just want a chat and a nice meal out. Editors don't write copy. If you want to entertain anybody, try some of the poorly-paid journalists. But don't expect to receive anything in return, and don't ask for any favours. Se it as part of building a relationship.

The press are out to get me

Probably not. Journalists rarely have vendettas against individuals or companies. It doesn't mean you will always get an easy time, but there isn't any hidden agenda.

There are lots more, of course, but we'll discuss those on another day.

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