NEW YORK: Journalists don’t have that much respect for PR pros. No surprises there. But while the love/hate relationship between these interdependent communities often spills over into frustration, there’s less hate than you might think.
NEW YORK: Journalists don’t have that much respect for PR pros. No
surprises there. But while the love/hate relationship between these
interdependent communities often spills over into frustration, there’s
less hate than you might think.
PR pros are more esteemed than management consultants, lawyers,
celebrities and politicians, according to the 1999 PRWeek/Business Wire
The survey, which polled 977 journalists from a cross section of
newspapers, TV, magazines and online publications, found that law
enforcement officers were most respected by the media, followed by
fellow journalists, artists/musicians and accountants.
Attitudes toward PR were surprisingly balanced. While 30% of PR pros
were ranked ’less than competent’ or ’poor,’ 40% were considered ’good’
or ’excellent’ at their job.
A whopping 59% of journalists would consider a job in PR and a further
33.1% have worked in PR, suggesting that there’s a far closer
relationship between the two professions than is commonly assumed.
Journalists also admit that they use press releases. More than half
(57.1%) use them ’all the time’ or ’often,’ while only 1.7% claim never
to use them. And 29.3% acknowledge that they rely more on PR pros than
they did five years ago, although 23.2% said they rely less.
But the working relationship between journalists and PR pros still
leaves a lot to be desired. Journalists railed at the problems they
experienced in dealing with PR executives, with lack of media knowledge
(59.4%), poorly written materials (51.5%), unsolicited phone calls,
faxes and e-mails (48.6%), repeated follow-up calls (47.7%) and even
poor product knowledge (41.5%) all being considered major problems.
While a separate question in the survey reveals that ’spin’ is
associated with PR more than any other profession - including even
politics - ’factual accuracy’ (24%) was ranked ninth in the top 10 list
of journalists’ concerns.
Further proving that ’spin’ is not a common practice, only 21.8% of
journalists said they believe PR pros spin ’all the time,’ or
- Editorial p8
- Analysis p9
- Who’s Spinning Who? p14.
Who do journalists respect?
Question to Journalists How much respect do you have for the following
1 Law enforcement 62% 6 Mgemnt.consultants 45%
2 Journalists 61% 7 Lawyers 43%
3 Artists/musicians 61% 8 Salespeople 42%
4 Accountants 58% 9 Celebrities 37%
5 Public relations pros 45% 10 Politicians 31%
Source: PRWeek/Business Wire Journalist Survey 1999