How to annoy a journalist – lesson 2

In the second of our series ahead of our “Meet the journalists” event with Enterprise Nation on April 14th, we spoke to Ian Evans, editor of East Midlands Business Link and asked him for three pet peeves from PRs.

Try to avoid these. They can make or break your next story.

1. At risk of sounding like an insufferable bore, the function of a comma is to mark a pause in a sentence – usually where one would take a breath. It never, ceases, to amaze, me, how many press, releases, contain misplaced commas. There’s really no need to write “Nottingham-based company, X, has announced…” Would you pause for breath after saying the first three words of that sentence out loud? You might think this is inconsequential – it’s certainly a minor edit – but it properly gets my goat. And I wasn’t even taught grammar at school!

2. Marketing masquerading as news. Is the story about the opening of your client’s new outlet or is it a list of the products and services they offer? This is particularly annoying because these kinds of releases can look decent at first glance. Headlines can be deceptive, though. Ask yourself – is this newsworthy? Or is it just a list of information that could be ascertained by taking a quick look at the company’s website?

3. General hassle. No doubt others will say the same thing, but it’s really rather annoying when agencies push and push you to carry their latest press release. Three things: I don’t think it’s good enough; I’m saving it up for a another day; I’ve missed it for some reason.

Nine times out of ten it’s number one.

Thanks for that Ian. We look forward to hearing more from you on the 14th.

Just a note, if your campaigns are more B2C that B2B, keep an eye out for out third and final guest blog later this week.