Bad Public Relations People Are Bad For Our Profession.
In a story where a reporter is denied access to an interview, it’s bad news. And in case you missed it, ID PR’s Bryna Rifkin, a publicist for stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and Michelle Rodriguez, among others, at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. As she accompanied Oscar winner Marion Cotillard down the red carpet, French-Canadian reporter Catherine Beauchamp asked for a quick interview with the actress. This was reported in PR Daily. Follow this link to watch the cringe-worthy exchange:
Who has more of a love hate thing going than reporters and public relations people? Who will always win in a dispute? If you said the people with the microphones, you were right.
Reporters Have Jobs To Do
Can reporters be a pain? Sometimes. But remember that like you, they have a job to do. There are fewer members of the working press than ever. If you persuaded one to cover your event, it likely means that they had to justify it to an editor who had to then decide what was not going to be covered instead. So, the reporter has to come back with a story or do a lot of explaining to their editor. No one likes to do a lot of explaining.
Make Reporters Lives Easier
Public relations people should be there to help make the reporters’ job easier. In doing so, it is far more likely that the client will see, hear, or read the story they want and expect. The reporter wins and your client does as well. Win-Win!
As a lifetime public relations person, I always accompany my clients on interviews for their protection against being misquoted or saying something they may not mean or fully understand. It never occurred to me that a fellow practitioner would be the one who needed protecting.
Your Client Is The Story
As a publicist, you are not the story. Your client is the story. Denying access to a reporter (who is standing right there for gawd’s sake) does the client a disservice. People who might not otherwise know about whatever movie, book, new product or whatever and gone and spent money on it, are denied the opportunity because you are having a bad day. Keep your emotions in check. Revel in the knowledge that in spite of it all, you delivered a good value for the client, then go home and enjoy your affluent lifestyle. Good living is always the best revenge.