Journalists – Best Friends/Worst Enemies

Intro

Information and knowledge are taken for granted, nowadays. But have you ever heard that “information is power”? It still is and will be forever. But how to receive information in the right way and how to provide information properly? We have a lot of tools and means to do it, it all depends on the content of the info we want to give or receive, and keep in mind: the need of credibility is more important now than it ever was. It is as relevant to the receiver as it is to the sender.

Ever since I started my studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications most teachers and students would compare me and my classmates with the Journalism students. With that a rivalry started between this two courses, but always a friendly one.

Journalism

In my point of view, journalists are still the gatekeepers of information. Besides the fact that their gatekeeping power is getting weaker and weaker everyday thanks to the Web and Social Media, their importance is still relevant for credibility purposes. Therefore, Public Relations practitioners have the need to create good relations with journalists. Formerly, organisations had to report directly with the press or the others conventional forms of media to be able to reach their public despite the goal they had: to ease the reactions of a scandal related to the organization, to advertise about a new product, to clarify about a dubious and miss interpreted situation, or any other case… Nowadays, companies have the tools to directly speak to the general public, but there is a reason why conventional media opinion or point of view still matters to companies, brands and organisations in general – their opinion has great influence on the general public.

Best Friend

Basically journalists can be our best friends – they still are in the top 3 contacts of PR “in case of emergency” mobile list. They have the ability to speak about the organization without having a direct link to it, showing no feelings what so ever about the organization in question. People will believe in them because of that missing link not knowing that we are that link. Public Relations professionals have the responsibility to make that invisible to the naked eye connection from the organization to the journalists conveying the organization point of view. The main goal is to convince them to publish the article with their own words but telling our story like we want the public to ear it.

Worst Enemy

They can also be our worst nightmare! “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”, Warren Buffett cliche quote is discreetly pointing the finger to journalists. All they want is the story, the repercussion of it is something that they never have to deal with, but the organization does have, and their PRs most certainly do… always.

Aren’t they treat? I guess so. We really have to treat them with respect, because they deserve that respect. They also need us for privileged information and we have to play with that card. So respect them, never fear them.

Hey Press

All this talk sends me to the real purpose of this specific post: Hey Press the search engine of journalists – https://www.hey.press

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It looks like a search engine and it works like a search engine. To use it you only have to dial key words on the subject at matter and Hey Press will provide the names of relevant journalists who have spoken and written about that subject. It will give you the articles of their authorship and all the information it can gather about the journalist itself.

It’s a Public Relations tool designed specifically to help us find the perfect professional to spread our story and give it credibility. It is also a great tool to find that journalist who spoke trash about our company and from there to find out why he did it.

Conclusion

“Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” Sun Tzu

To sum up – Journalists and PRs complete each other work. We need them as much as they need us. We deliver info and they spread it in a way that we could never do by ourselves. Therefore we need to know them well, to be sure they spread it the way we predicted in the first place. Keep the ones you like close for any occasion they might be useful and keep the ones who have something against your company closer to prevent a crisis.

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