We all know that journalists are bombarded with PR material every day and that unfortunately, some of it is poorly targeted, poorly produced and not relevant. Journalists can actually get some brilliant story ideas from PRs, as well as really useful content to enhance an existing story and vital statistics, quotes and case studies within very tight deadlines.
So I guess the answer to the above question depends on whether the PR is trying to ‘get a story to run’ or ‘stop a story from running’. Journalists would have a pretty hard time functioning if there weren’t efficient PRs to organise spokespeople, source stats and case studies quickly or investigate customer stories. Similarly, they would probably rather have the mobile numbers of all the experts and top people than have to phone a press office and get an anodyne reactive statement.
Either way, journalists and PRs do depend on each other, but not exclusively, and less so since the advent of social media. Journalists source stories from readers, contacts, announcements, surveys and increasingly from bloggers and social media platforms such as Twitter. PRs need journalists to be featured in newspapers, magazines and on radio and TV, but now they can also go direct to their target audience via websites, podcasts, iPhone apps, forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube etc etc.
It comes down to the skills of the PR individual and the ethos of the company as to whether the PR function is a barrier or a facilitator. But the acid test of who needs who more comes down to one simple thing – who pays for lunch – and that is still the PR.Read More