As much as some PR practitioners and journalists would like to deny, PR is essential for the press, and the press is in turn just as essential to PR; it is a symbiotic relationship. Anne Gregory describes the “ambivalent relationship” as a result of “mutual dependence, but also mutual caution.”
Why? Gregory explains that “[T]he press, think that ‘PRs’ are there to block their way to the important people who they really want to talk to. Furthermore, ‘PRs’ don’t really tell the whole truth, they are always out to ‘spin’ a story to the advantage of their organisation. Consequently if the journalist takes them at their word and writes a story based on the ‘PRs’ material which turns out to be less than the whole truth, then it’s they, the journalist, who feels let down and a fool.”
According to PRestige Agency, there are some important guidelines for maintaining a happy relationship between PR practitioners and journalists:
- Write a strong news release
- Make yourself available
- Learn what their needs are
- Do not make promises you cannot keep.
Because print journalism is a declining empire due to material converting to online formats, the Public Relations industry has seen an increase in the number of former journalists who convert to the Public Relations field.
Ultimately, PR practitioners and journalists should set aside their differences because due to the demise of journalism, they will be seeing much more of one another.