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When Clients Also Contact Journalists

When clients also contact journalists

And… breathe! You’ve just found out that your client has also been emailing journalists. Ignoring the fact that you’re the one being paid to facilitate media relations, they are writing to the same people, doubling up, befuddling, complicating, undermining, frustrating…

Something of that ilk played out in my inbox last week. Having just heard from the newly hired PR agency for a lettings firm, I then received the exact same press release from their in-house marketing person a day later. With it came the promise of more subsequent stories, and precisely no mention of the new agency (their contact details at the release’s foot had been chopped off).

Personally, it’s but a trifling annoyance; there are somewhat bigger problems in the world (have you noticed?) about which to get upset, and besides, I’d certainly prefer to receive your release twice than not at all. 

I can imagine, however, that certain intolerant travel journalists — and I suspect you all have one or two in mind right now — might find this frightfully offensive, to the point of responding with a scathing, righteous email of complaint.

From your side, this doubling-up risks creating unnecessary confusion for the media. Who exactly is the main press contact? And does the company not rate its agency?

You are likely to have better media skills, and near-certain to possess superior contacts. So I would always rather hear from you, someone who probably ‘gets it’, than an in-houser with no PR experience. The thing to do here is to politely instruct said client — citing that confusion, or enraged key journalists — to kindly butt out. Or consider signing up for meditation classes so you can ignore the doubling up of releases. 

What Richard thinks…

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