It's no secret that journalists get exasperated with PR pros who pitch wholly inappropriate stories to them. Even those PR pros who are experts at researching a particular journalist's beat and outlet and successfully land an interview for their company's lead spokesperson—say, a CEO—can aggravate time-strapped journalists if that spokesperson is ill-prepared or has a defensive attitude. Media training is as important as smart pitching.
Here are nine ways a brand spokesperson can annoy a journalist during an interview, compiled by Bonnie Shaw, president of Clearpoint Agency. Any one of these actions could result in categorizing you as an automatic delete in a journalist's inbox.
- Starting late or postponing interviews—an inability to adhere to deadlines.
- Condescending, big attitudes or rude behavior; just going through the motions.
- A spokesperson who hands the reporter a copy of an article (or a link to a previous interview) from her competition to use for details and background.
- The entourage that accompanies the spokesperson appears bored and interrupts the meeting, adding no value.
- A spokesperson who tries to dictate the story angle and content.
- An answer to a question that goes on and on—a lack of brevity.
- The spokesperson's company advertises with the media outlet, so expects to have good things included in the article or broadcast.
- A request to be the lead story and to review copy or edited video before any story is released.
- Neglecting to follow up on promised items or images.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. What would you add?
Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI