For PR professionals, it is very important to maintain their relationships with the media as it’s ultimately what they trade on and what makes their careers work. It’s important for them to keep journalists happy in order for them to publish their client’s news, but that won’t happen if you annoy them. Here’s 5 easy things that will get you on a Journalist’s blacklist and that we recommend you avoid!
Send your news to 50 journalists – and keep them all of in CC.
This one is obvious, but if a journalist sees you are blatantly sending the exact same news to many others, they will most probably not publish it, and you might end up on their blacklist. Journalists care about being the first ones to publish an interesting story, and whilst in reality they may know you’re sending it out to many, if they clearly see other journalists mentioned, they will probably send it to trash.
Send everything and anything the journalist’s way
For Journalists, all they care about is looking for the next interesting story, but they like relevance too and not having their inbox cluttered up! So, if a PR professional frequently sends press releases and opportunities that aren’t newsworthy or relevant, the Journalist may likely bin you or worse still block you.
Don’t proofread your release
This goes without saying, but if you send the journalist a press release with a million and one spelling mistakes, it will end up in the bin. If a journalist were to publish your news, they expect to find it error-free and ready to go, without the hassle of re-writing or editing.
Lie to a Journalist
There are many ways you can be classified as a liar to a journalist. Be it omitting information, straight out lying, or twisting truths, but they always find out. Journalists are smart professionals, whose jobs are literally all about finding out the truth, and they will surely find out if you lied to them – and throw you in the dreaded blacklist.
Calling a Journalist a hundred times for a chance to be featured
Journalists know that PR professionals need to secure features and Q&As for their clients, but the truth is, if your news isn’t newsworthy, it will just not get published. The chances of a journalist having not seen your email is close to none, they probably saw it and either decided to action it or decided to trash it. If the latter is what happened, you repeatedly calling them will probably get you blacklisted as it will do next to no good in them reconsidering.
So, if you want to stay on the safe side and stay on your Journalist-friends’ good side, do the opposite of the above – and they’ll try their best to publish your news. Remember, stay relevant and keep the connection alive for the best results when pitching.
Written by Layan Al Jamal, PR Executive at TishTash PR and Marketing one of the leading independent marketing and PR agencies in the UAE and Middle East.