- My client really wants feedback about why the article idea didn't work. All three reporters agreed: That's not their job. I'd add that's exactly the role of a public relations adviser, who should know enough about the media outlet to have a few good ideas about why a pitch wasn't successful, including damaging a potential relationship by following up too much.
- I don't think I'm doing my job well if I don't follow up to see if the information was received. This met with a lot of blank stares from the panelists, but the consensus was that reporters wouldn't call this a 'job well done.'
- The editor told me this story would be assigned if he just had someone to cover it. Again, all panelists agreed: That editor was just saying no, nicely. If the story was worth doing, someone would be assigned to it.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Washington Women in Public Relations, I opened asking the group to raise their hands if they were still calling reporters to see whether their emails, packets, or other information had been received--a practice reporters abhor, and one I've always avoided. One brave soul raised her hand, but as the questions came from the audience, the panel (reporters from the Washington Post, USA Today and US News & World Report) and I could see that, in fact, many in the audience not only continue the practice but wanted to defend it. Here's what we heard the media pitchers say about why they pester reporters with followups--and how the reporters responded: