In a recent article PRmoment.com ran a summary of Chris Blackhurst’s ‘bad PR’ rant and highlighted 14 reasons why hacks (journalists) hate flacks (PRs). Whilst I have to agree the content was very funny it did make me wonder whether we were getting the rough end of the deal being a so called ‘flack’.
I’ll be honest here and admit it can be a very difficult relationship. Both parties claim the other side doesn’t understand what they want (hacks) or appreciate what they do (flacks). But, like any long term marriage, even one that is made in editorial heaven, there are good days and bad days and there are two sides to the relationship.
So, not being the sort to hide our opinions the team here at Clareville have decided to put together our very own top five suggestions on how hacks could help to improve their relationships with flacks.
1. Please read the email properly before calling! We recoil in disbelief when you ring us demanding to know something that actually happens to be in the first paragraph of the press release. Perhaps it’s time to practice your skim reading abilities a little better?
2. Images – again, you often phone up requesting a suitable image to accompany the content but somehow have failed to notice that one is already attached? Odd.
3. Be more specific in your requests – you put out requests saying you are writing a feature but don’t specify what exactly you are looking for and then get angry when we email or call to ask further details. It doesn’t help either party now does it?
4. Please don’t just hang up the phone – at least listen to us for our 30 seconds ‘elevator’ pitch.
5. There is never any excuse for rudeness – try and be polite and not abrupt even if the request is not relevant or you are busy! Good manners cost nothing.