Journalists: grudging respect for PR execs

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.

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

Journalist Survey.



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

’often.’



- 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

sectors/occupations?

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

Impulse Survey



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