PR connections in the “real” world

So to speak. Here are the differences I’ve experienced between Allen Hall publications and working for a news corporation.

College publication! Check out to see awesome work with long deadlines that I miss so much.

College publication! Check out to see awesome work with long deadlines that I miss so much.

1. PR people. No longer are they the students I sometimes interact with during 200-student List A and List B courses. They will call you at work, on your cell and send you two or three emails pitching their company asking if you want to write about it.

–> This is great! Set up an interview, easy peasy–unless they’re hired contractors, in which case they will not know where their project is based or who to connect you to.

–> Not great! Say you’re on deadline, they only want free advertising anyway.

Once you’re at the interview, the PR person you’ve been talking with will be there, too! They will rephrase your questions or redirect the conversation before the interviewee can respond to you.

–> This is great! You didn’t know about that part of the project and never would have gotten that quote or information, which is pretty cool.

–> Not so great … the interviewee is guarded, won’t expose his personality and only uses structured, rehearsed language to promote his company or project.

PR2. Talking to PR people who are supposed to be promoting their company is way more fun than talking directly to a busy project leader, even though you’re eventually going to need that quote (but conveniently, your PR friend has got that in the press release she emailed you–twice :).

–> Great! Your PR friend is so easy to cold call! She wants to tell you all about her project. She’s just like the PR girls back in school. We would have totally been friends.

–> Not so great. You really need to talk to someone who’s actually involved with the project you’re writing about and get the real dirt, not the approved commentary.

3. Reclaim Millennial. At the end of every interview, inevitably they will ask you, “So how long have you been with [publication]? It’s just that I haven’t met you before.” Yeah, right. Four weeks. “So, where were you before that?” College. Go Ducks! “Oh, good luck!

I’m not worried, it’s an advantage to be young with new ideas. Watch me.

Jay Rogers

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5 Responses to PR connections in the “real” world

  1. Okay Jay that Christian Bale link literally had me laughing to myself with headphones in at my desk! So funny!!

    I love the wit you brought to this post. It seems there is a line drawn in the sand between journalists and PR professionals. However, I think your post is fair in its assessment that there are pros and cons of interacting with public relations experts. They make our jobs (as journalists) easier by providing us with information we need and sending links our way to help develop story ideas. They also can hinder the work we need to do with their gatekeeping and approved commentary. Either way, the two worlds are much closer than they’d like to admit.

    This post is great because it reminds both sides that neither industry would exist without the other. PR and journalism will always work side by side, if not always hand in hand. The best thing we can do at this point is learn how to communicate across that line in the sand and develop strong relationships with journalists and PR people alike!!

  2. pdxsx says:

    Good PR vs. NE insight, Jay. It’s a fine line. Sometimes y’all can be friends, sometimes you can’t. You’ll get better at sorting the wheat from the chaff as you progress. 🙂

  3. kaitlynchock says:

    This was great, Jay. You’re really witty and I enjoyed reading this. Also, the super sassy Christian Bale link was gold. I think it was a good depiction of the relationship between public relations and marketing functions and journalists. But most of all, I loved point number three. You’re right, you’re an ideal powerhouse and that’s definitely a strength. It was clever of you to link to your Twitter. You’re got a new follower. Thanks for the great post, Jay!

  4. cbuch232 says:

    I actually haven’t dealt with too many PR people, but I have dealt with a bunch of politicians, and have realized that they are essentially PR people, except they are trying to protect their own image rather than the company/project they represent. I agree that it is always more beneficial to get the real scoop from those who’re willing to tell it like it is. But it’s still awesome that PR people are letting you know about so many different projects! Nice post Jay!

  5. hansonlauraj says:

    Thanks for the interesting post, Jay! I loved your links.
    I haven’t had as much experience with PR people as you obviously have, so it was great to get the additional insight.

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