Sitting in on an interview is one thing, but asking the questions? Sometimes a PR can take their role a little too far. Or be confused about what their role is perhaps.
While the very essence of successful PR lies in controlling the story – conveying an image of a brand or a product or a personality in the way that brand/product/personality sees as desirable or compelling, that is not an appealing thought to a journalist.
It kind of messes with our vision of saving the world with our Truths (yes, even on the fashion desk). No journalist wants to feel that they are being controlled by PR witchery and so the most confident and experienced of PRs will practice their Dark Arts with an elegant sleight of hand.
Which is exactly not what I witnessed last week when a PR I was setting up an interview with sent me a list of questions to ask his client. Wait, what? Questions? From you? No, no, no, I’m asking the questions, mate! That’s not how this works.
And while we’re at it I’m also not that keen on being given a bullet-point list of “key messaging” to slip into my features. Not going to happen. Key messaging is your concern, not mine, one for your weekly target meetings, not my in-box. By showing your hand like this, you really aren’t playing your cards right.