Journalists vs. PR — Where Do You Stand?

What good is having a loyal readership full of video game journalism and marketing professionals if you can’t pump them for information every once in a while?

With that in mind, I’m looking for some good quotes and perspectives for an article I’m doing on the relationship between gaming journalists and gaming marketers/public relations [Ed note: to be clear, this is an article for another outlet, not for VGMWatch]. I’m trying to get into the issue of how journalists and PR people see each other — how the relationship between the two groups is both adversarial or concilliatory in turns. One day the PR person who gives you an exclusive is your best friend, the next day that same person is withholding access because of an article they saw as unfair. Similarly, the journalist who writes a ten-page preview of a game is a PR person’s best friend… until the 5-out-of-10 review comes out months later.

I’m mainly looking for specific stories to give the article some color. Personally identifying information is not necessary — I’m not looking for people to name names or air their personal grievances with one party or another, I’m looking to gauge general feelings around the industry (or industries, if you prefer).

I’ve jotted down some questions to guide your thoughts below. Please send in your responses in to and tell all your friends to do the same. Please identify your name, position and company in your e-mail (this information can be kept confidential if requested). Thanks in advance for your help.

For Journalists:
* Do PR people have too much control over what journalists can write about/have access to?
* Do PR people play favorites/play magazines against each other in doling out access/coverage? Do they hold grudges?
* In general, are PR people knowledgable about the games/companies they’re representing? In specific?
* Has a good experience with a PR person ever sold you on a game you might not otherwise like? Has a bad experience soured you on a game you might have otherwise liked?
* What character traits and skills make a good PR person? A bad one?

For PR people:
* Do you see game journalists as respected partners in your marketing effort? Tools to be used to promote a game? Neither? Both? Something else?
* Have you ever felt ambushed by a journalist that wrote a scathcing report after what seemed to be a polite, respectful meeting?
* What is the biggest challenge in getting coverage for a game in the press?
* Do you feel game journalists are unfairly biased towards or against certian companies/types of games?

For both:
* What are the most exasperating experiences you’ve had in dealing with members of the PR/journalism industry? What are some of the most fulfilling?
* If you could change one thing about the way you interact with the other group, what would it be?

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