So, PRs, if you want to offload some of your pain too - you know where to come.
Dear LiS, as a regular reader and flack by trade, I pride myself in not spamming time-pressed hacks by blindly emailing them press releases they won't be interested in. That said, I'm still quite junior and don't know every journo in the country so if I'm pitching a story in an area new to me (especially at national level) then I'll often do a quick ring-round first to see if it might be of interest before emailing anything over.
Last week I was pitching an environmentally-focused story, so was calling various editors to see if it might float their boat. I thought I'd recount one conversation I had, just to show you how thankless life the other side of the fence can be:
Fairly well-known enviro hack: Hello?
Me: Is that Mr Hack?
Me: Hi it's MATEY calling from BLAHBLAH, I understand you're the environment editor for The Newspaper.
FWKEH: What makes you understand that?
Me: Urmm, well, I did some research into people who write about environmental stories and your name came up.
FWKEH: I don't write for The Newspaper any more.
Me: Oh, sorry. Do you still cover environmental stories? I looked you up on MediaDisk and it said you do.
FWKEH: You clearly don't know the first thing about me.
Me: Right. My mistake.
FWKEH: I've had a PRODUCT out recently, and I contribute to The Other Newspaper. If you don't know that then you don't know anything.
Me: I'm really very sorry for wasting your time.
FWKEH: So you should be. [HANGS UP].
I'd just like to apologise to Mr Hack once again. I'm not a specialist in environmental PR, and I'll be honest, I didn't know who he was. However, it's such a shame when people can't see that you're just trying to do your job. Sad face.