2014-11-23

The Curious Case of Public Relations

You know what Public Relations people and we, journalists have common? Ahem! Ahem! Grrrr, both of us need each other and we hate in equal measure. A tale of sleeping with the ennemy on the same bed. It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that we fuck with passion on bed and, once the act is done, we swear to never ever, kiss and tell. Never do it, Again!!
As a journalist, I had a love and hate relationship with the bunch of PR people. Yeah! I loathe their aggressive way of doing things and hoodwinking us to get their job, scripted by them, bearing our pen. It's irritating. Yet! They say the pen is mightier than the sword.
I agree that the dreaded, PRwale, got a job to do and we not playing an orgy of sort, surrounded by musical chair. But, what gets to me when they invite you to some crap event and insist that we cover the whole thing from A to Z. As a journalist, it's a matter of personal discretion to retain some information and crap some, which will be of interest to my readers. For journalists, what matters is telling a good story and not doing promotion of sort for a brand. You cannot be telling what should I write or not. I am not here to promote your brand or else, I wouldn't be in this profession.
Girl A represents PR Agency X invites me to an event. I keep the story for Friday since we have something special that will be issued on the Saturday for the readers. A keep calling me and insist that the story need to appear on the specific day.
A: When it's coming? We need it asap.
ME: Sorry, we are keeping it for our special issue on 'real estate'
A: No!!! That cannot be. We need it now. I have a boss to answer. (Sounding hysterical)
ME: I am answerable to my boss as well (banging the phone)

I check with my post and, all said and done, we decide to keep the story. Person A sends a press release and, after checking and double checking my facts, the story go on the page. A calls, "Hey! I need a favor. Can you publish the story again?

ME: (Aghast) Again!!! We already published the story.
A: But, I made a mistake on some facts for the events. You need to publish it again. Please! Please! Please!
ME: Pardon me. Mistake was yours, not mine. I shall revert.

Come 2014. I am working for an upcoming magazine for high net worth individuals, read, super rich expats. PR agency Z represents a client and, somehow, I met the latter for an interview, without going through PR Company, Z. Guess, it hurts their ego. The director calls and was sounding so offended that I didn't go through his agency for the interview.

Director of PR 'Z: You know, they are my clients. I am accountable to them and you can't give us a date when you coming out. You are in the wrong.
ME: (sounding a bit flustered): Well!! Err..I understand your concern, Sir. But, I don't agree when you say that I am in the wrong....
Director:.....Blah! Blah!! Blah!!!!
His Assistant Manager calls and try to put me under pressure so that the article goes in the sister publication. After checking with the chief editor of the sister publication, I send an email to their PR executive:

Dear K,

The story was done for our upcoming publication and not 'sister publication.'

If you think, they were done, think again about this sagging tale of hate. Miss Dumbo-cum-Bimbo K calls and try to flirt a bit on the phone. She sucks at it and it shows how lame someone gets. I shoot her down, "K! This is my office phone and let's stuck to business. No! I cannot take it on some other publication. So sorry about that. 

All said and done. I mean, I can understand that you are only doing the job. But, you get on my nerves when you attempt to thwart my pen to get things done. First of all, it makes you so lame and dumb as PR people. One need to draw the line between journalism and PR work. Agree! There should be a healthy work relationships between the two players on both side of the fence but one tries to step on one's foot, this is simply unacceptable. On the top, it's my pet peeve as a professional when someone step on my toes and once it gets to me, you better be prepared mayhem strikes.
However, I must say that I had wonderful work relationships with few PR agencies who charmed me with their professional attitude to work. You respect my space as a professional and I think we can go a long way to cooperate with each other.

Professionally Yours
Vishal



Post a Comment