How not to handle the media…

All journalists have had days when none of your calls are returned and multiple voicemail messages bear no fruit. On occasion I’ve wished someone would just tell me they weren’t going to answer.

Still there’s no need for the reaction given to Folio’s senior editor, digital, Dylan Stableford by another B2B publisher, as he followed up a legitimate tip on job cuts at US B2B publisher Edgell.

“I left messages for Edgell’s chairman and CEO Gabriele Edgell, COO Dan Ligorner and president Gerry Ryerson late last week seeking comment, as well as sent e-mails to a bunch of staffers listed on their contact page,” writes Stableford.

His inquiries finally received an email response – though perhaps not what he was after:

From: Gerry Ryerson
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 5:11 PM
To: Dylan Stableford
Cc: Tony Silber; Dan Ligorner; Gabriele Edgell
Subject: RE: folio: inquiry

We don’t have any information we’d like to share about our company right now. If we had a comment Gabriele, Dan or I would have returned your calls. I’d also appreciate you not continuing to contact everyone on our mastheads as its just a distraction to our business.

Gerald C. Ryerson

You’d think he’d know better…

4 thoughts on “How not to handle the media…

  1. Robin Brown

    I’d say it’s a fairly common occurrence for most journalists to find PRs frequently aloof, impossible to contact and irritable at the temerity of journalists in attempting to contact them. Most odd.

  2. Liam Nelson

    Doesn’t Mr. Ryerson have the right to choose if he wants to speak or not? Dylan can write that they did not wish to comment.

    Actually, I can perfectly understand this email, and I also work at a newspaper.

  3. Laura Oliver

    He definitely has that right, but I think the first line of the email would have sufficiently said that he did not wish to comment.

    I don’t know how many phonecalls/emails Dylan put in on this… but from personal experience I don’t know if I’m in danger of being a ‘distraction’ unless someone actually picks up the phone.

  4. Terry Ally

    If Mr Ryerson considers it a distraction he would have to accept responsibility. If he does not wish to comment he should have returned the first call or sent an email to that effect.

    From a journalist’s perspective, it is a waste of my time trying to consistently contact others who know full well they do not want to speak and are discourteous enough not to say so.

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