Whether you are doing your own media relations or are using a PR agency to do it for you, it is important that journalists are not annoyed by you or your business. So what are the most common ways you can enter the danger zone? Here’s your official guide on how to annoy a journalist and obliterate your PR chances (i.e. here’s our tips of what NOT to do).
Giving a journalist a new nickname at the start of an email will usually help you along in your quest to annoy journalists. Moving into sweetie, darling, honey and petal territory puts you straight into the ‘DELETE’ category.
That journalist is not your BFF and you are not Patsy from Ab-Fab. Stay away from the weird, overly friendly vibe.
Become a bunny-boiler
Send that email with the shiny red exclamation mark. Follow that up with a phone call that same day to make sure the journalist received it. Leave a voice mail. Send a text to say to check the voice mail. Start creeping on their Facebook. Comment on one of their other articles asking if they got your message. Rinse and repeat. Bonus points for doing all this follow up for something that is irrelevant or not newsworthy.
To the person who said sending an email and following it up in this manner was the way to get a journalist’s attention, well done you. You’ve caused a whole generation of journalists to suffer from profession-based stalking and smart-phone related PTSD.
You are not the journalist’s only story. But if you want to annoy a journalist, then this is sure to do the trick.
The not-so-exclusive exclusive
Yes, the word exclusive does get your journalist sitting up and paying attention. But that doesn’t mean you should use and abuse it.
If you have an exclusive story, offer it to only one party. And disclose your appearances that are on rival networks in case it causes issues.
No journalist wants to explain why their exclusive was seen by their producer on a rival network two days before.
Tell the journalist how to do their job
Some journalists just don’t get it, do they? They decline your press release. They tell you that your quotes didn’t make the final cut. And they even have the nerve to put a story about YOU live without your seal of approval. Or if they do let you review it, they ignore all your helpful changes.
I mean really, who do they think they are? It’s not like they know what their editor wants, who the audience is or what the publication’s style guide includes, right?
Newsflash: arguing with a journalist to get your own way over what they know they need to do to their job won’t get you media coverage.
For more tips on how to reduce your chances of securing positive media coverage, read my guest post for Anthill Online.