November 08, 2007

Hacks vs. Flacks

I just came across the Hacks vs. Flacks article that was published in the New York Times on Monday. According to the article, Chris Anderson, the executive editor of Wired was fed up with "lazy flacks," and permanently blocked 329 unsolicited e-mail senders. According to the story, the list includes people from leading PR firms like Edelman, 5W Public Relations, Felishman, Ogilvy, etc.

As PR professionals, there have been times where we have all been a little lazy and rely on e-mail, instead of calling, we did not do enough research to realize that our favorite beat reporter just changed beats and yes, we probably do deluge reporters way too often. But, reporters need to realize that without people like us - their jobs would be a lot harder - they wouldn't get exclusives, they would have to do a lot of research on their own and they would have to track down executives and elected officials for interviews without staff begging and pleading their principal to speak with a reporter that wrote a bad story about their organization last time.

Journalists need to realize that PR pros are necessary for them to do their job. And, not all of us are great and sometimes we make mistakes - but, hey so do journalists.

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
    Follow her on Twitter: @ScottCircle

    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @BlainR

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