As a PR professional, creating relationships with the media is a crucial part of working in the
industry. Working with the media and establishing strong connections can lead to you becoming
the go-to person in your area of expertise, however, irrespective of having good media relations
skills, journalists also have a job to do, they don’t work for you and there are certain behaviours
they will never tolerate. Do one of them even once, you could ruin your relationship forever.
Here are five things that will get you blacklisted by journalists:
Late or Missed Deadlines
Journalists work on deadlines, the worst thing you can do is leave a journalist hanging on a
story or miss a deadline by which you agreed to get back to them. Not returning calls in a
prompt fashion can also cause them to miss a deadline altogether, which can be catastrophic
on their end, giving them a good reason to decide to sever your relationship.
Lying or Supplying Incorrect Information.
Lying to a journalist is not a smart move. Journalists are skilled in doing research and finding out
information eventually. Withholding information will portray you as less than truthful. Journalists
never want to be embarrassed when information “they should have known about” comes to
light, especially after your story has been published.
As a PR professional, you should know who to send your press release to. You should know
when your story won’t be the right fit for a particular journalist. The quickest way to ruin your
relationship is when you repeatedly send your press release to media publications that are
irrelevant to your content.
If you can, avoid cold calling journalists at all costs. Your content should be interesting and
newsworthy for the journalist to consider using it. Most of the time, if they don’t respond to your
emails, adding a phone call won’t add much value to your relationship. Leave the phone calls for
reporters you know well or who have requested additional information.
Whether or not a journalist or publication decides to run a story is at their discretion. They do not
work for you. The specifics of what they choose to include in their coverage is totally up to them.
Asking nicely, pleading or hounding them will get you banned from ever working with them