7 questions that drive journalists bonkers

Seasoned PR pros should know to avoid these queries and requests, yet somehow at least one or two will creep into the exchange. Print them out and post them so you never utter them.

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PR pros do certain things that turn reporters off completely.

Yes, reporters can get cranky with us—but sometimes we deserve it. Though everyone makes mistakes, we should learn from others’ experience and avoid those same missteps.

With that in mind, here are some questions reporters don’t want to hear:

1. Did you get my email?

Assume that, unless your message bounced back to you, the reporter received your message. If you want to follow up, try this: “I’m following up re: X. Please let me know should you have any questions or need anything further.”

2. Something came up—can we reschedule our meeting/call?

The answer is no.

You were lucky to get a meeting in the first place, so the last thing you want to do is to ask to reschedule. Reporters are busy—and their time is extremely valuable—so do whatever you must to make it work. Just make sure your client is there, on time and ready to go.

3. Can we review the story before it goes to print?

Again, no. That isn’t the way PR works.

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