As a travel journalist I live and die by the relationships I have with PR people but I am constantly surprised how much of a one way street these can be. I constantly hear PRs complain about journalists and editors who never call, never write and don’t remember their name until they want something.
But in the world of travel journalism the PR needs the journalist more than the journalist needs the PR. Fact. When a journalist doesn’t respond to a call, a pitch, a press release it’s because they don’t want what you’re selling so find another way to sell it or someone else who wants it.
When a PR doesn’t return a phone call, an email, a request for images or an interview from a journalist then the PR jeopardises the relationship and the future editorial for the PR’s client. It seems unfair, but this isn’t a romance, it’s business and when a journalist is on deadline who is she/he going to call? The PR they can rely on.
The one that returns calls, sends images that are captioned, in the right resolution and attached one at a time or sent by FTP. The PR that doesn’t mind sourcing the information for the journalist. Put simply, the one that makes the journo’s job easier.
We all work with those who make us look good. You don’t go back to the plumber who showed up late, didn’t call and left your bathroom in a mess. The journo feels the same way.
In the world of relationships, if you’re not working on one with your key journalists then don’t expect to have one back. Journalists, like elephants, never forget.