PRNewser Blames Victim in Mugging by Journo

Judith LedermanIt’s not quite on the scale of Ahmadinejad denying the holocaust, but PRNewser ganging up on a wounded PR pro smacks of waterboarding for a minor offense.  See Former Lord & Taylor Publicity Manager Confronts Forbes Reporter Via Blog

The thumbnail: Out of work PR pro Judith Lederman cooperated with a Forbes reporter on a story called When Work Doesn’t Pay For The Middle Class. She was either mis-quoted, taken out of context, or ‘un-quoted’ – treated badly by a reporter who basically used her to support his storyline (never happens, right?) – and she called the reporter out on her blog.

I immediately admire Judith for this. We get paid to be aggressive advocates for our clients – that sometimes means confronting the media. She is willing to do it publicly for her own news.  A legitimate blog post is treated as news by Google. She is using the power of her blog to be on par, in this instance, with Forbes. Maybe it’s because she’s willing to stand behind the courage of her own convictions, something you rarely see in the PR business, that so offends PRNewser.  What about all this warrants such snide editorializing. Does the author know the PR business?

There are a few things worth noting here. First, is it worthwhile to publicly challenge a reporter on your blog, and do any positive results come out of this practice? Second, if Lederman is looking for a PR job, what does it say about her PR skills that she couldn’t properly handle her own media relations and personal image? Yes, the reporter could have very well taken things out of context, but it was Lederman who agreed to have the conversation in the first place. Perhaps should would have been better served to decline the interview or at least halt it when she felt things weren’t going in the right direction? – By Joe Ciarallo, PRNewser, on Sep 18, 2009 09:47 AM

Comments

  1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. I did ask the reporter to withdraw me from the story when I sensed he was spinning in a different direction. He assured me that he was not going that way and that the story would be a positive one for me. Hmmm…

  2. Joe says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for digging into this. It’s definitely an interesting story. I just wanted to clear a few things up here:

    1 – Judy emailed PRNewser calling this to our attention, and asked us what we thought about her public response. We then turned the question over to readers in the post. “…is it worthwhile to publicly challenge a reporter on your blog, and do any positive results come out of this practice?”

    2 – Do reporters take things out of context or shape interviews to fit an agenda? Sure. My point was given the sensitive nature of the topic and how it relates to Judy’s job search, if she had been better off not taking the interview at all, or declining to comment once she saw things headed in the wrong direction. She says, “He assured me that he was not going that way and that the story would be a positive one for me.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

    3 – To your point “Maybe it’s because she’s willing to stand behind the courage of her own convictions, something you rarely see in the PR business, that so offends PRNewser.” That is completely false and in some ways a bit hypocritical, no? You’re accusing me of snide editorializing by…snide editorializing.

  3. Mark Rose says:

    So we’re even now, right, on the snide editorializing? Difference is that I am purely opinion, you’re reporting on ‘news.’ I didn’t read your piece as opinion of PRNewswer readers, but your own opinion. Did I miss something? I am also curious about your PR background. Are you ‘reporting’ based on experience or theory?

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks Mark. Yes, we are news blog, but we also have some opinion as well. Also, I am asking questions. “Perhaps should would have been better served to decline the interview or at least halt it when she felt things weren’t going in the right direction?” Agree, disagree, that’s fine. We welcome comments.

    I have worked in PR for more than five years. You can read my full bio on the site.

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  1. [...] pros are lining up on both sides of the debate. The PRBlogNews.com blog supports Judith. But a columnist at MediaBistro.com, a subscription site, isn’t as [...]

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