|Did you know that journalists and gifts don’t mix?|
By Karen Sideris President, K Communications, Inc.
While the holiday season is the perfect time for giving gifts to work associates and clients, think twice before sending presents to journalists. The reason? Most news organizations prohibit journalists from accepting gifts or even things such as free travel or lodging discounts to cover meetings or events.
In fact, the Society of Professional Journalists (a professional association of journalists) advises members to refrain from accepting such gifts in its professional “Code of Ethics” (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp). Some news organizations post their ethics policy on their websites, so be sure to do a little research if you are considering sending a gift to a reporter at any time during the year.
What can you do around the holidays to remind journalists about your organization and to keep you top of mind as a resource for news stories in the New Year? Try calling or e-mailing to inform them about the exciting new programs your organization is planning in the coming year. While many reporters take time off around the holidays, some will be in the office and might be more willing to speak with you about story ideas if their workload is lighter than usual.
Use the week between Christmas and New Year for building relationships with reporters. You might be rewarded with an interview request for a story when you least expect it!