It’s good for journalists to see PR behind the scenes

It’s good for journalists to see PR behind the scenes:

A Google press rep accidentally included the wrong attachment in an email to multiple journalists today, revealing part of Google’s YouTube press coverage goals, plans, progress to date.

Nightmare scenario one one level. But I find the tone of the article really interesting — is it that surprising to discover a company tracks the way journalists are talking about it in the ways described?

Journalists often seem a little surprised by the reality of the industry that surrounds their work. Take this piece in TechCrunch from last year.

Wielding influence, it’s easy to feel like everyone surrounding you is out to manipulate you and turn you into an asset – especially when those people are old school PRs. But the better you understand the reality and motivations of the broader ecosystem around you, the better equipped you are to differentiate the helpful from the interfering.

Having said that, I wonder what the opportunities are for journalists to see behind the scenes of how PR works. Perhaps that’s why slip-ups like this go down with such impact to them and perhaps there’s an opportunity for PR to become a bit more transparent with some of its most important partners and remove some of the smoke and mirrors.

- Max Tatton-Brown

August 16th, 2013

  • Sean Fleming

    Journalist comes face-to-face with media monitoring and evaluation, gets confused, writes slightly baffled article.

    It’s not just the machinations of the PR industry that many journalists don’t get, a goodly number of them don’t understand their own industry’s dynamics. Fewer still have any real idea about how business (in the broadest sense) operates.

    I sometimes yearn for the armour-plated suit of ignorance I wore when I was a journalist, too.

    Not often mind.

  • Phil Szomszor

    Good post, and comment from Sean. It often gets me how different parties haven’t got a clue about how each other’s worlds work. How many PRs have seen the inside of a newsroom?