So to speak. Here are the differences I’ve experienced between Allen Hall publications and working for a news corporation.
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.
2. 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.