How to patch up a relationship with an enraged reporter

Someone miscommunicated or made a mistake. The reporter got mad. Someone may have cried. What comes next?

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We all have bad days.

No matter your profession, stress can overwhelm. We all have our moments of giving into a snarky remark or responding to an email or phone call in a selfish way. Regardless of how positive a person you are or how much you want to be kind, life happens and so do rude statements. It happens to PR pros and it happens to reporters.

In my career, I can count on less than one hand my interactions with truly disgruntled reporters. I don’t mean just having an off day or being a little on edge due to deadlines. I’m talking about the journalist who starts out mad, with no apparent cause or attempt to explain his or her reasoning, and proceeds to get angrier, more combative and increasingly demeaning the more you interact.

It doesn’t matter how targeted your original pitch was because, even if the reporter agreed to cover your idea, he or she is in a temporary or self-imposed permanent state of rudeness.

The time a reporter made me cry

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