Will the Journalist Let Us Review the Article or CEO Quotes Before Publication?

Will the journalist let us review the article or CEO quotes before publication?

In the United States, PR professionals often cringe when they hear their CEO ask that question.

But, according to the results of a survey conducted by our affiliates in the Public Relations Global Network, such a request may NOT be so outlandish or offensive in some countries in Europe, as journalistic practices can vary significantly from country to country.

The PRGN survey of some 215 reporters from North America and Europe indicated that:

  • North American reporters tend to shun any pre-publication reviews of stories generated by an interview with a CEO, with 18 percent of respondents saying they always allow reviews of CEO quotes and only 2 percent saying they always allow the entire story to be reviewed.
  • European reporters overall are at least twice as likely to allow a review before publication – with 21 percent of them always allowing review of the entire story and 41 percent saying they always allow pre-publication review of CEO quotes.

Journalists’ feelings about pre-publication reviews can vary widely from country to country across Europe, however. Findings of the PRGN journalist study indicate that:

  • 53 percent of Polish reporters indicated they always allow CEO quotes to be reviewed, yet only 9 percent said they allow pre-publication review of the entire article;
  • Journalists in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Portugal generally disapproved of any pre-publication review of the CEO quotes or the article;
  • Reporters in France, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands were three to four times more likely to always allow review of CEO quotes and were two times more likely to allow pre-publication review of the entire article;
  • 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.

The bottom line: Knowing how receptive an international journalist might be to pre-publication reviews – and when offering such a review is viewed as insulting – can help protect your story and your company’s media relationships. Having easy access to PR experts around the world with that kind of local media/market knowledge can make the difference between good and bad coverage.

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