TUESDAY 2 MAY 2017 11:16 AM


Meet the media with Shane Donnelly, staff writer, startups.co.uk

What PR habit do you find most irritating or unhelpful?

Probably when they hound you for a response to a release that isn’t particularly time sensitive. I understand everyone has to hit their targets, but it can be annoying if you’re working on a last minute deadline and you get bombarded with calls and emails about a story you can still cover or discuss in a few days.

Do you think people who have trained as journalists make good PRs?

Yes, they generally do. Working in the space, you sometimes take for granted that not everyone has as good an understanding as to what’s newsworthy as you may have. I think a lot of trained journalists feel that because they’ve gained knowledge ‘from the inside’ they have an added advantage and can make quite a lucrative career. They’re probably correct. In terms of the reverse, I’ve actually talked to plenty of PRs who have had a genuine passion and interest in writing – and some have even asked for advice on making the transition from PR to journalism.

What qualities do you most value in your PR relationships?

Someone who knows what type of content you’re actually likely to publish. I’d much rather a PR only got in touch when they have something they know will be of use, rather than constantly throwing releases and seeing what sticks. In the long term, this makes it easier to build upagoodrelationshipasyouknow you’re both on the same wavelength. As a PR, if you build up that reputation, I’ll be more likely to open your email above others when I get into the office.

Second, honesty. We have a strict remit over what businesses we can/can’t cover so it can be frustrating when PRs will pitch you a story and try to fool you. It never works, and makes them look untrustworthy.