PR Peeve #5: Poor Communication

January 3, 2012

Reporters, editors and public relations practitioners are all supposed to be communications professionals.  So why do we do such a poor job communicating?

Some reporters never bother to return calls or respond to e-mails.  Conversely, PR agencies hire fresh college grads and put them on the phone to spend their day calling and e-mailing reporters, which is why many give up responding to PR practitioners.

It doesn’t help that many media outlets do their best to hide the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of their editorial staff, presumably because they don’t want them to be harassed by PR practitioners.  Many feature contact information for their advertising department, but not for their editorial department.  Note to media: You’re in the communications business.  Communications is a two-way process.

Interestingly, reporters and editors for some of the best and largest media outlets do a much better job of returning calls and responding to e-mails than reporters and editors for small and midsized media outlets.  They recognize that it’s part of their job.

Productivity would increase for all of us if PR practitioners spent less time sending out inappropriate pitches and press releases that no one cares about, and if reporters and editors would read and respond to their e-mail.

A summary of PR Peeves initially appeared in an article we wrote for the Worcester Business Journal.

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