With the term ‘fake news’ being banded about on a near daily basis, there is a school of thought which suggests that the trust between PRs and journalists is being eroded. Each needs the other to achieve their objectives, but sometimes friction can get in the way. Crucial to the success of each, is trust and respect.
The best way to resolve any blockage is to look closely at it, understand the root cause of it, and see what can be done to relieve it. Intrigued, we decided to launch a couple of snap polls on our Twitter page to hear from the horse’s mouths what irks both parties the most. As it turned out, the issue goes beyond a basic lack of trust.
When asked what most irritated them about PRs, over a third of journalists polled (37%) reported that PRs trying to be their best mate was their biggest bug bear. Contrast this with the number one annoyance for PRs (being ignored by journalists), and the picture starts to become a little clearer.
Over a quarter of journalists (26%) claimed that PRs calling to chase them up too soon was a source of irritation. Could it be that over zealous PRs are the reason journalists are occasionally abrupt with them? 14% of PRs said that this made their job harder – but are they to blame because of their over-eagerness? Perhaps a slightly less enthusiastic approach from PRs would result in a healthier dynamic.
That said, journalists looking to improve their relationship with PRs (who, at some point, may be extremely useful to them), ought to take heed that the ball isn’t entirely in the PR’s court. Journalists misquoting their clients is the second biggest irritation to PRs (17%), and could lead to trust and, consequently, their wider relationship breaking down.
Our findings suggest that if journalists work to increase PR’s trust in them, they will likely pave the way for a happier relationship. Meanwhile, if PRs can stop over egging the omelette, they’re less likely to put journalist’s backs up. Let the healthy relationships flourish.
For the full results, see below.