Journalists slam quality of releases from PR agencies

The performance of public relations consultants has been heavily criticised in a survey of 100 top City and business journalists from newspapers and magazines.

The view of the majority of journalists in the survey, by specialist financial services agency Axis Media Group, is that the PR agencies are incapable of producing press releases that are fit for use by journalists.

Axis conducted research among reporters and business editors from the national press and business publications. It found that 85 per cent of respondents claimed press releases submitted by PR agencies were “poorly written”, “lacking substance” or, in many cases, “contained no story at all”.

On average, senior journalists said that they spent between 45 minutes and an hour a day digesting the contents of press releases. A total of 65 per cent of respondents said that they “rarely” used material submitted by a PR agency. One in three said they were willing to read material supplied by publicists, but criticised standards.

Former Daily Mirror and Evening Standard journalist Paul Wellings, now a senior consultant at Axis, said: “It seems that the standard of most press releases is dire.”

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