Newsmakers and reporters

PR guru Richard Edelman notes a row currently brewing in Washington.

The Redskins’ PR department informed the news media that one of its coaches did not want to do interviews before a game with Tampa Bay. But later that day, Williams was interviewed on Redskins.comTV… The communications director of the Redskins is quoted on the team’s web site, “The Washington Post, apparently more interested in stirring false controversy where there is none than in reporting fact…”

As one who has worked on both sides of the fence, I think it’s entirely fair for newsmakers to appropriate the reporter’s tools. It ensures your message gets out, as you would want it. Is this unreasonable? It’s nothing new; one might choose to do a live broadcast interview rather than a taped one, for precisely the same reason. (Things like ‘exclusives’ granted to internal media outlets become a bit awkward, though – ask our own MUTV, for example.) But it’s insane to do this as a negative thing, consciously to spite the media – they always have the final say.