Thoughts on Journalists’ Public Relations Relations

Whatever your business, reputation is important. But in media-related industries like journalism and PR, it’s absolutely vital.

Today’s fuss about Kevin Braddock‘s naming and shaming of PRs has been interesting in itself but I think it reflects another interesting aspect of the UKTJPR community; Some journalists are much better at their own PR than others.

Knowing they have a heavy PR audience on platforms like Twitter, the likes of Andy Lim and Adrian Bridgwater understand that it makes sense to be sympathetic when you know who’s listening.  But they aren’t just pandering to an audience and by no means are their messages empty and cynical.

The fact is, it’s a relatively complicated situation where you could put forward excellent 140 character messages supporting arguments on either side of the fence.  Everyone knows there are good PRs and bad PRs so you could tweet either way.

But, given the choice, it makes good sense for journalists to post comments on the matter that play to those stakeholders in their audience; the type of PR who follows them, puts a little thought into their job and doesn’t generally end up on such lists.

To take the other route may not damage their relationships but it misses a good opportunity that requires no more effort.  In the mean time, their peers will judge them by their work rather than the occasional betraying tweet.

So what causes this disparity among journos? The folly of youth vs battle-hardened veterans? Online vs print? Consumer vs B2B?  Look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments…

UPDATED 15:00 5 JAN
Kevin has now replaced the post and removed the email addresses, the link above should send you to a cached version.

- Max Tatton-Brown

January 5th, 2010