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Phrasebook for what journalists really mean when they are talking to PRs

PR company 10 Yetis today brought out its own guide to what journalists really mean when they fob PRs off.

It got Axegrinder thinking about some of his own suggestions for their lighthearted phrasebook.

How about?

Journalist: "It is certainly a forthright piece".

Translation: "We are going to absolutely monster your client".

Journalist: "I just wanted to touch base with you to make sure we have got our facts right."

Translation: "I have nothing to go on, but I'm going to run a few half-baked theories up the flagpole and see if you bite."

Journalist: "That one is a bit fringey for us."

Translation: "You really are just going through the phone-book calling journalists with your crap press release doing absolutely no research whatsoever into the subject matter their publication covers."

Anyway, here are the suggestions from Shannon Haig at 10 Yetis.

Said by a journalist, to a PR person: "I've put it up to the editor, so it's out of my hands."
Translation - "I haven't got the heart to tell you that the story is sh*t and won't get coverage. Anywhere, in fact."

"The sub editors must have taken the client mention out, sorry!" 
Translation - "There was no way your client was ever getting a mention."

"Can I have it exclusively? We might run it then."
Translation - "We probably won't run it, but we don't want anyone else to either. Plus, just in case we do decide to use it, we don't want other papers to have it."

"Sounds good. Send it to < insert generic editorial email address here > and if someone likes it, they'll get back to you."
Translation - "It doesn't sound good and I want to get you off the phone right now. Send it to this generic email address that nobody monitors and it'll be completely ignored."

"It's not one for me, but send it on to Brian - he loves stories like this."
Translation - "I wouldn't run this in a million years and neither would Brian. Send it to him though, because he's possibly the most evil journalist in the land and I want to have a bit of a giggle about the fact he'll probably give you an earful of abuse."

"We've changed our editorial policy and can't cover stories like that anymore I'm afraid."
Translation - "I really hate you. Get off the phone. Your story is about as good as the time I was eating candy floss at the zoo and an escaped gorilla tried to kill me/eat my candy floss."

"Sure, I can make that meeting/event."
Translation - "I almost certainly can't make it. Tell your client I'm coming though, just to get their hopes up."

"I can't see that release you're talking about in my inbox. Send it again and I'll have a look."
Translation - "I get approximately 1.3 billion emails every day and probably deleted yours instantly. Send it again, just so that I can take pleasure in hitting 'delete' one more time without even opening it."

"We might do something with that release, yeah."
Translation - "We probably, definitely, might not be using that release."

"Yes, a comment from your client on that topic might be useful. Send something over."
Translation - "Go away and spend ages getting your client to draft something and we'll add it to the pile of about 100 other comments we'll receive, then we'll leave it there forever more and do nothing with it."

 

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