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I admit it. I can be a real jerk.

I don’t respond to your emails. I don’t return your voicemails. If your call happens to catch me at my desk, I’ll  know within the first five words that you’re a public relations person — maybe an intern — who is pimping a press release, I immediately I will begin to wonder how fast I can get to goodbye.

But I also have to say that some of you kind of deserve it. And for every editor who’d just as soon hit the delete button on your message than read or listen to the whole thing, there is a public relations professional who could use a few pointers on how to convey her message in such a way it might actually make the news.

Let’s face it: We need each other. I asked one of my editors how much daily news she gets from press releases and other forms of public relations. Two-thirds, she said. Among all our sites, we published 4,177 news items for the first six months of the year. Assuming her percentage holds true for our other editors, that’s 2,785 pieces of public relations we picked up. Was yours one of them?

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you are part of the next 4,177 we publish.

Continue reading " Five Ways to Become More Than Just a Necessary Evil "