Seeing Mad, Red and Nude: When I scratch a journalist’s back — and they don’t immediately come over to my place of work or home and change my diaper
Today I stand in solidarity with my fellow PR professionals, especially Satelite PR’s Miriam Brown, who was brave enough to stand up to a powerful journalist lobby with her triumphant post Seeing Red: When I scratch a journalist’s back — and they don’t return the favour.
Journalists, as we well know, are meant to do things for us, Public Relations Professionals, as is established by our very important and legally binding contract we have signed with them in our heads. As Ms. Brown said strongly, “The phrase “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” can be used to neatly sum up my relationship with most journalists.”
Whatever you do, do not believe the scandalous “truth” that people say that “PR people spam reporters constantly with useless shit in the hopes that they will run it on their blog, website, newspaper or TV show.”
I, personally, have many times done favours for reporters. I have stayed in the office until 4PM, stressfully forcing myself to respond to the 400,000 emails I get a minute saying “URGENT” and “I MUST HAVE THIS” or “I MUST TAKE YOUR CLIENT VIRAL — NOW” — NOTE that they RUDELY format their subject headers with colourful letters (confusing) and comic sans (insulting to us professionals that stick to Times New Roman by the code of ethics of the Public Relations Industry we sign in blood on joining).
What bothers me the most is when I struggle out of the office after arriving at 12 in the afternoon, and I have helped them many times get to my tip-top sources, such as beloved Zoo Mascot “Flopsy The AIDS Penguin” and my client Burton Borts, the foremost authority in off-shore tax havens for startups that help connect people in open marriage.
What infuriates me the most?
When I make the simple request of a favour from these reporters. I just ask one thing after my tens of hours a month of doing work using complex software such as Gmail and Google Chat and Google.
I simply request that when I need it that a reporter will come to my place of work or my home to change my diaper.
It’s a stressful job PR. We send emails, we receive emails, we go on conference calls, sometimes 2 or 3 in one week. We sometimes write very long press releases that nobody reads. I think it is very reasonable, being a critical part of filling journalists’ inbox, that they help me in a situation in which I have filled my diaper.
It’s not too much to ask. I scratch your back, you come to the location I am at and change my diaper.
Ed Zitron — Public Relations Expert
PS: If you got this far and think I wasn’t making a statement about the furiously myopic, idiotic people that believe reporters are there to be a chute for our stories, lol.