Working on my how-to article, it has been a struggle to get interviews set up with the right people. It makes me wonder how professional journalists get the interviews they need. Do they do whatever they can to get to the person? If they can’t get through to whom they really want, do they have a back up plan? When meeting with the District Marketing Manager of Vitamin Water, the first thing she said was… nothing I say can be recorded or published, If it doesn’t go through Vitamin Water’s public relations. With Vitamin Water being a product of Coca Cola, you do not want to mess with them!
After she shared that information I was almost too scared to take notes on our conversation. This also had me wondering what journalists do in that situation. Do they still do the interview and then scrap it. Or do they send it in to the company to be reviewed? I’m sure it depends on the journalist. I’m sure there are journalists out there who take risk sand still publish their article without it being reviewed.
I feel if the journalist sends their work into the company to be reviewed they may want to change wording and the angle of the story. It would also take the "realness" out of the story and especially the quotes. With sending your piece to a company to be reviewed, you might as well just say I need an article on this what can you give me?
It seems almost a little ridiculous to have to send in your work for approval, especially if you don’t work for that company. We have freedom of speech, right? So I should be able to voice my opinion on things. Also, if a company is allowing someone to work for them and speak to the public then anything that person says should be able to be published. Even if it isn’t published, the public is bound to hear about it eventually. With social media being such a big deal right now, I'm sure someone will tweet or make a Facebook status about it.
After trying to research how journalists handle this, I found that journalists DO get frustrated. Some articles suggest that if you do not record the interview, to let the interviewees or Public Relations person look over the quotes you wrote down if they ask to see them. This can help calm them, knowing that you took down the correct information.
As for having your work to be reviewed by PR, I couldn’t find anything on how journalists handle it. It’s just a fact of life that journalists are not fans of. If you are writing about a big company or person, take a deep breathe and be prepared to go through PR.
If you have ever been in this situation, please comment and share your experience! I would love to hear how other deal with this situation.