How to behave when a journo request just doesn’t work out
Life is incredibly busy, things can change, and mistakes can be made.
So with this in mind, what action can you take when you get a request from the PressPlugs that just doesn’t fit the bill for you, or your client?
Well, most people would ignore it, but on occasions businesses and PRs reply in good faith, believing they can assist, and then life’s gremlins takes over.
In cases like this it’s about what do you do next, and damage limitation is vital.
Hold your hands up
The request that’s gone wrong is often not your you’ve looked at the information and confirmed they are ready for a call to be interviewed.
Yet then the client has an emergency, or possibly they go cold on the opportunity.
From a journalist’s point of view, whilst they may be miffed that you’ve pulled , but what will make their blood boil is if you don’t let them know and leave them in a pickle.
The journalist’s view
This occasionally happens, and the big picture needs to be seen.
A PR consultant won’t respond to a request unless they feel it is worthwhile for their client in the first place.
After all, most realise a story from a less glamorous publication can still get to the right audience or may be picked up by the national press – or that the journalist who writes could be soon employed by a bigger media outlet.
A PR professional won’t respond to a request that they don’t feel would be valuable for their client in the first place. They know that a story from a small circulation title (or a regional paper or an industry blog) can still reach the right audience or may be picked up by the national press – or that the journalist who writes for that niche title could be working for a much more “important” outlet next year.
Act in time
It can be tough to get this message to a client who has not a great deal of media experience and won’t always take your advice.
Letting down a journalist is never easy so remember your long-term relationship with that journalist needs protecting.
Keep them updated because your inaction will mean more work for them.
We always say act quickly, leaving them as much time as possible to get a replacement case study.
Learn by the mistake
Always ask yourself to try to ensure it won’t happen.
Checking availability, and please ask them if they’re interested before you to the journalist.
Always be straight about the situation to a journalist, keep them informed, and remember they will have another story that may work in the near future.
You will always get another chance if you treat a journalist with respect.