Two reporters lost their notes, we had to ask for three article corrections (including the misspelling of a company name), and a reporter forgot about an interview; and that was just last week.
Clearly something is afoot in the world of journalism. While mistakes have always been part of the mix when working with reporters (they’re only human after all), we’ve never seen the number of miscues and mistakes that we’re seeing regularly today.
Most of what’s driving this phenomena is the profound changes taking place in the media. Because readership has dropped in traditional media, so have ad revenues. As a result, journalists find themselves either out of work or overworked. Those who still have jobs are doing the work of three or four writers.
In addition to being understanding when mistakes happen, there are things that companies can do to help make the reporter’s job easier:
- Bring them good story ideas with experts who are available and prepared to do a solid interview.
- Develop good, non-promotional content to share.
- Package an interesting customer story with metrics, and make sure that customer will be available to be interviewed.
- Offer to write a byline that is newsworthy, non-promotional and delivered on time.
- Perfect interviewing skills and refine your message, so you give a quotable interview.
- Follow through on promises made to reporters for answers, metrics, photos, etc.
More information on trends impacting PR can be found in our new brief, Media Trends 2012.