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Sue Kirby has worked as a journalist on North East newspapers for more than two decades. Here she explains the importance of “trustworthy” PR professionals.
“PR people have become a necessary part of the everyday life of a working journalist in recent times,” says Sue, who has worked in local newspapers since 1990.
“With staff cut to the bone, we rely heavily on stories being sent to us which can be placed straight into the paper.
“It is not ideal, of course, but sadly public relations people have an important role to play in getting newspapers on the shelves.
“Some of the worst incidents of dealing with PRs have been with police press officers, who can make it difficult to get the information needed following an incident.
“The ideal relationship is with PRs who are pro-active in sending you good quality copy, which is relevant to your readership.
“But, the best PR people also understand that you are not there to give them free publicity – and acknowledge that not everything they send will appear in the paper or online.
“I don’t have any real interest in working in PR; ideally it is not something I would wish to do. However, realistically, everyone has to earn a living and if there came a day when I was no longer a journalist, then of course I would have to consider this as an option.”