CEO Media Interview Mistake #4 – Not Knowing the Journalist’s Policy on Pre-Publication Reviews of CEO Quotes

Reporters NEVER allow CEOs to review their quotes before a story runs, right?

Contrary to popular belief among PR professionals, many of today’s journalists will actually allow CEOs or their PR representative to review their quotes for stories prior to publication.

According to a survey of more than 110 journalists around the world conducted by the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN), 70 percent of reporters will allow a review of quote prior to publication in some cases:

  • 24.3 percent of reporters surveyed will often allow review of a CEO quote for accuracy;
  • 34.2 percent will occasionally allow a review;
  • 11.7 percent will occasionally allow a review by the CEO only, and
  • 29.7 percent of reporters surveyed will never allow a pre-publication review of a CEO quote.

Moreover, based on results from an earlier study conducted by PRGN in Europe and North America, it appears that pre-publication quote reviews (as well as full story reviews) are typically much more common in Europe than in North America.

The 2014-15 PRGN study showed.

  • North American journalists tend to shun any pre-publication reviews of stories derived from a CEO interview, with 18 percent saying they do allow reviews of CEO quotes and only 2 percent saying they always allow the entire story to be reviewed, yet …
  • European journalists overall are at least twice as likely to allow pre-publication review – with 41 percent of European journalists saying they always allow pre-publication review of CEO quotes and 21 percent always allowing review of the entire story.

However, journalistic review practices vary widely country by country. For example:

  • Journalists in Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands were three to four times more likely to always allow review of CEO quotes … and twice as likely to allow pre-publication review of the entire article;
  • Journalists in the Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom overwhelmingly disapproved of any pre-publication review of the CEO quotes or the article;
  • 53 percent of Polish journalists indicated they always allow CEO quotes to be reviewed, yet only 9 percent said they allow pre-publication review of the entire article; and
  • None of the Italian journalists surveyed said they always allow review of the CEO quotes, but one-third said they would allow the entire article to be reviewed IF there was a strong relationship with the PR agency.

Therefore, knowing how agreeable an overseas reporter might be to such pre-publication reviews – and when requesting such a pre-publication review may be seen as an insult – can help you to protect your coverage and your company’s long-term media relationships.

How do you obtain this kind of insight?

One way is to work with a local PR expert who has a deep understanding of the local media, market and cultural nuances, such as those senior PR professionals we have available through our global network, PRGN – which has offices in 50+ key markets around the globe that are run by such embedded local PR experts.

Gain more insight into how you can enhance CEO media interview outcomes and avoid faux pas by tapping this kind of local PR expertise here.

Also, see the posts on CEO media interview mistake #1, mistake #2, and mistake #3.

The PRGN journalist study surveyed more than 110 journalists from around the world to get insight on how media professionals prepare for and conduct interviews with CEOs, as well as to understand how their reporting duties and needs are changing. Click HERE for more info.

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