Despite the many commercial pressures facing newspapers in the digital age, most “serious” journalists and editors still believe in the complete separation of church and state (or editorial and advertising).
When FT journalist, Lucy Kellaway, was recently reprimanded by Henry Gomez, head of marketing and communications at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, for an article she recently penned regarding HP boss Meg Whitman, brave Lucy didn’t back down. When Henry then urged her to consider “the impact of unacceptable biases on its relationships with advertisers” she went on the counter-offensive, writing this very writing this very public (and quite brilliant) reply
Successful PR is all about managing relationships. Real relationships can never be formed on the basis of threats tossed out with all the finesse of a school bully. Yes, as PRs and Journalists we can talk about the things we disagree on but sometimes it’s better to agree to disagree and walk away as friends.
Remember, PR is a long-term campaign strategy, not a series of individual battles where we can afford to pick journalists off like a disgruntled sniper. There is also now, thanks to Lucy, a real chance of journalists returning fire.