PR people need help. They appear to have less understanding of how journalists work than ever before. They don’t appreciate deadlines, the speed journalists work at and the hours journalists now work on 24-hour internet media.
I have had a couple of weeks of dire experience with PRs. These include:
Slow, non-answers | Embargos | Contacts | Press registration Continue reading
This week, instead of being a journalist and trainer, I spent at least a day dealing with late paying clients. It was mainly AOL, which, until today, had not paid a single freelance contributor, despite us working since December.
My company has now been paid more than £10,000 by some clients and we have remittance advices in from others so will be paid by Tuesday. But as of today we have more than £21,000 of invoices outstanding, of which nearly £2,400 is already overdue. That is me lending companies money. Continue reading
Banks may not be lending much money right now but I certainly am. I reckon by the end of this week I will have about £28,500 of invoices outstanding. That is my business lending money to other businesses. And interest free. Continue reading
Public relations (PR) officers from insurer AXA gave the trade press and the national press different embargoes for the same story on Friday.
Embargoed is a small town in Wales, my old ex-national newspaper editor used to say, emphasising the “ed” sound at the end of the word. It looks like AXA’s PR people give the embargo about as much respect.
The BBC carried a story on a tax hoax phishing email this morning, timed at 01.49. I phoned the out of hours HMRC PR at 9am and he did not have the press release, said he would get it to me about 11am and, so far, still hasn’t.
Why are PRs so completely useless?
Update: After second chase up call, when release was still not ready, it arrived by email at 12.34, saying exactly the same as the BBC was given 11 hours earlier.
Links (new windows)
Should journalists mention facts that will play up racism, even though the source seems impeccable?
I did a story yesterday about insurance fraud on Daily Finance. In the course of interviewing the lawyer, she made the statement that the defendants refused to testify in court because they would have had to swear on the Qur’an. Continue reading
Throw some light on it
An email to my MP asking whether I should complain about the Communities PR team to the minister or head of the Civil Service elicited a response, at last.
I called Matthew Gorman there on 15 December. I asked for the amount of council tax collected and the cost of collecting it, plus the amount of council tax benefit paid and the cost of paying it. I was given this information ten years earlier by the predecessor department for an article in the Guardian.
Tweets from #governmentnews are so wrong the person tweeting should be taken out and shot. Journalists should avoid this site because of its inaccurate and misleading information.
Yesterday, 17 January, it tweeted that new donation and funding figures for political parties had been published. This was just baloney. Continue reading
In the past few days I have worked from my Macbook using mobile internet connections from:
- The top and bottom decks of double decker buses
- standing up on a London commuter train
- Seated on a Virgin train
- On the overground section on a London tube
- In a Starbucks and a Pret
- Standing on Oxenholme and Lewisham stations
I have used a mix of my Vodafone dongle and my BT Openworld account. And that is in addition to several other people’s home wireless broadband networks. Continue reading