A Caution: How to treat journalists

Jason Calacanis, famous for selling his Weblogsinc. to Time-Warner for a reported $25 million, posted a curious confession. A champion of blog ethics, transparency, and free expression, he yet manifested an unfortunate Achilles heel vulnerability.

From "My interview with the WSJ on the Wizards of Buzz story".




WSJ didn't quote me for the story yesterday, but they did ask me a bunch of questions. Here is the raw interview…

"Jurgensen, John"
date Jan 26, 2007 4:51 PM
subject Re: question from WSJ

[snip — text deleted]

(WSJ) How would you describe the pressure and influence of marketers, especially as it
relates to this top-user pool?

(Calacanis) Constant.

What have you discovered as a result of your blog campaign to find out more about
these influences?

They are low-rent marketers who are desperate for a cheap way to game the system. The real marketersin most casesare smart enough to know they shouldn't piss in the town well.

Of the users and marketers you know to be involved, who might talk to me about
compensation for submissions?

Finding sources is your job. :-)

* Feb 11th 2007 11:45AM


To produce Viral Publicity aka Fast PR, the first and most golden rule is to respect, help, and make friends with journalists.

You need them, they probably don't need you. There are plenty of stories featuring businesses much more exciting and timely than yours. You must never be smart ass or rude to any media people, whether photographers, receptionists, reporters, station managers, publishers, or sales staff.

A fast way to make journalists like you, and consider using you in stories, is to offer to help them with SOURCES. This is where we must shine. Journalists don't like to write stories quoting only one source. It looks biased and like an info-mercial. Stories carry more credibility and balance when multiple sources are quoted or referenced.

To say "finding sources is your job" is a massive insult. The journalist could turn around and reply, "Well then, getting publicity is now your job. I will shun you like the plague."

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