The Guardian’s Charles Arthur on why not to send PR attachments

Charles Arthur, The Guardian technology editor, has an excellent post on his blog about why you shouldn’t send attachments to journalists. I’ve commented on the blog and below I’ve pasted a copy of my response:

It constantly amazes me how few of my PR colleagues grasp this
simple fact. Our rule is simple – all news releases are sent plain text
with no attachments. Print quality photos are available in the news
room on either our website or the clients (ours where the client
contact doesn’t have a CMS or isn’t able to change their site quickly).

There
is one exception and that is non-technology journalists that we know
well. These will still receive plain text but I will attach the photo.
The reason is that they aren’t comfortable with downloading their own
photo (really, tech journos might be surprised but it is true). I also
know what they write well enough only to send the photo if I think
there is a really good chance of them using it. I’ve asked them and
they like this approach . When they don’t use the story and picture it
is nearly always to do with space pressure rather than it not being a
relevant story.

The other thing that annoys me is PR
consultants (including some of the really big names) who use the excuse
‘that’s what the client wants’. Duh? The client is paying you for your
expertise as a PR professional not as a glorified postman. They should
do their job and provide expert counsel not buckle under.

Rant over.

UPDATE: Phil Gomes has chimed in on the same theme


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
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