The relationship between journalists and PR/communication people has been a topic of debate for years already. So when I found out that for the first time in Belgium journalists (VVP and AJP) and communication professionals (3C and BRPCA) had been working together on a survey investigating all aspects of the communication interaction, I jumped at the opportunity to hear the results first hand. They are mostly consumer-oriented and, with a focus on the Belgian market, not representative for the whole of Europe, but still, lessons can always be learned.
Among the findings was the figure that 97% of communication professionals thought press releases have an added value for journalists. Not really that surprising I agree. But what was eyebrow-raising was that as much as 79% of journalists agreed with them.
This figure strengthened my belief that journalists will continue to value the work of those PR agencies they have come to trust for delivering timely and accurate information in a responsive way. Whatever market you are active in.
Journalists and PR professionals need to possess the ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and honestly. Especially in highly technical and precise markets, like the technology and industrial ones duomedia is active in. As a journalist, you must be protective of your publication and your reader. As a communication professional, you must be protective of your company or client. That is also why at duomedia we have many team members with a journalist background, and why we work with many expert journalists for copywriting assignment. For us, it is a perfect and natural fit.
Basically, the key elements for being on the right track are quite simple: research the story pitch before sending it, make sure to articulate the content in a couple of sentences instead of sending a manifesto and keep the email subject line newsy and not cutesy. Your company will then belong to the exclusive club of agencies that have ‘got it’ and will earn the respect of the journalists you are working with. In a nutshell, if you can’t write good tailor-made content, talk to people, and put forth easily understandable arguments, you are in the wrong profession. Both as a journalist and a PR person.
So if you “get” it, you will see for yourself that you succeed in joining the community of the industry you are striving to reach. In the end it comes down to showing respect between all parties involved - journalists, PR agencies and companies - and keeping each other in balance for a perfect win-win-win situation..
You can find a link to the full article by clicking here.
Louis De Nolf