Can journos and PRs ever be friends?

The other week I made a trip to Melbourne to touch base with my Victorian PR contacts, of which there are many. The Melbourne PR peeps are some of my favourites. These guys make my life easier on a regular basis so I thought I’d go and put faces to names and voices (It had nothing to do with visiting Melbourne for the first time over a long weekend).

It was like media and PR had never met before. “Journalists never come and see us!” they exclaimed. One emailed me afterwards to say (and I quote): “I think the juniors in particular were in shock at having a real life editor in the office.” I had to laugh. As a result, that same agency are now (very wisely in my opinion) implementing a program where they’ll meet with other editors to find out more about what they want and how they can better work together.

It’s not rocket science, is it? I may be getting a tiny bit of a reputation for ranting about PR people but I’m not a PR-hating monster by any means (I was told by one PR today that she now double checks all her releases for mistakes before sending them to me!). Don’t be afraid, I can actually be very nice, honest. When PR is good, I tell people about it too; it just doesn’t make for such good reading! Only last week, I recommended a PR company to a business owner contact. After all, it makes sense for the editor of a business magazine to tell business owners who the best PR people are.

But I appreciate that the good PRs do me as many favours as I do them. It works both ways. So it’s not just about them getting on my good side, it’s about working together for the benefit of each other and the client. If we don’t talk to each other and keep up this media versus PR ‘dark side’ rubbish, we won’t get anywhere. We’re all in the business of communication and if we don’t communicate with each other, we’re missing a really big trick.

So I’m in the business of keeping my good PR contacts sweet as much as they are me. But let’s not go too far. You guys will always be the ones picking up the bill for coffee!

So, what do you reckon? Can journos and PRs be friends?

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