Journalists say ‘no’ to PR sell-in calls

Journalists overwhelmingly reject the value of PR follow-up calls, according to a new survey.

Follow-up infographic

A survey of 473 national newspaper reporters and editors found that 98% said ‘no’ to follow-up calls. Among the robust responses to the question, one anonymous reporter said: ‘“My quick response to these calls combines sex and transport.”

Hamish Thompson of Twelve Thirty Eight, who conducted the survey, said:

“Journalists are hugely over-stretched and they simply don’t have time to field calls.  Each call represents a couple of minutes that the journalist won’t get back. In my view, it’s the quality of the story that matters and makes a difference.  If you get that right, everything else falls into place. Too many agencies attempt to seduce their clients into a belief that process is a good substitute for ideas.  It just isn’t.”

See more findings from the survey here.


  1. I imagine social-desirability bias would have confounded this research significantly.

    I also think it’s hilariously ironic that journalists claiming they’re too busy to speak to PR people had the time to complain about PR people to other PR people…

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