Public Relations

Journalist Truths revealed…

A press release has been causing an amusing stir amongst my colleagues this week… Public Relations

International public relations agency, 10 Yetis PR, claims it’s created a handy guide to help public relations professionals who are new to the industry to understand what journalists really mean when they say certain phrases.

The lighthearted guide by online public relations agency 10 Yetis was created by Senior Account Manager Shannon Haigh and is based on team feedback from more than seven years of working with international journalists.

Here is the guide to what he believes journalists actually say and what they really mean:

Said by a journalist, to a PR person: “I’ve put it up to the editor, so it’s out of my hands.”
Translation – “I haven’t got the heart to tell you that the story is sh*t and won’t get coverage. Anywhere, in fact.”

“The sub editors must have taken the client mention out, sorry!”
Translation – “There was no way your client was ever getting a mention.”

“Can I have it exclusively? We might run it then.”
Translation – “We probably won’t run it, but we don’t want anyone else to either. Plus, just in case we do decide to use it, we don’t want other papers to have it.”

“Sounds good. Send it to < insert generic editorial email address here > and if someone likes it, they’ll get back to you.”
Translation – “It doesn’t sound good and I want to get you off the phone right now. Send it to this generic email address that nobody monitors and it’ll be completely ignored.”

“It’s not one for me, but send it on to Brian – he loves stories like this.”
Translation – “I wouldn’t run this in a million years and neither would Brian. Send it to him though, because he’s possibly the most evil journalist in the land and I want to have a bit of a giggle about the fact he’ll probably give you an earful of abuse.”

“We’ve changed our editorial policy and can’t cover stories like that anymore I’m afraid.”
Translation – “I really hate you. Get off the phone. Your story is about as good as the time I was eating candy floss at the zoo and an escaped gorilla tried to kill me/eat my candy floss.”

“Sure, I can make that meeting/event.”
Translation – “I almost certainly can’t make it. Tell your client I’m coming though, just to get their hopes up.”

“I can’t see that release you’re talking about in my inbox. Send it again and I’ll have a look.”
Translation – “I get approximately 1.3 billion emails every day and probably deleted yours instantly. Send it again, just so that I can take pleasure in hitting ‘delete’ one more time without even opening it.”

“We might do something with that release, yeah.”
Translation – “We probably, definitely, might not be using that release.”

“Yes, a comment from your client on that topic might be useful. Send something over.”
Translation – “Go away and spend ages getting your client to draft something and we’ll add it to the pile of about 100 other comments we’ll receive, then we’ll leave it there forever more and do nothing with it.”

Speaking about the work, the Head Yeti at 10 Yetis PR said:

“What started out as a really fun piece of lighthearted public relations work for ourselves has now turned into an online hit with more than 2000 people visiting our site to read more. It’s a fantastic piece of work by Shannon.”

Shannon Haigh, Senior Account Manager, created the piece of work and said: “I have loved creating this fun, but very factual piece of work, and the feedback from journalists has been fantastic.”

WE SAY: While this is a light-hearted piece, we find PR companies rarely want to accept feedback. There are some great PR companies but many repeatedly make basic errors and ruin their client’s chances of getting anything into print!

Read more about the mistakes PR companies make here and how to choose one that doesn’t here:

Choosing a good PR company

Ten ‘kill the story dead’ PR sins…

10 Yetis is an award winning tech, consumer and online public relations agency. Based in the South West of the UK, it has clients based around the globe.

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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