Interpreting that 4:45pm conversation with a reporter

Ben Silverman's latest PR Fuel newsletter will serve as a startling wakeup call for some cold-calling PR newbies, and will give old hands a chuckle: it's everything you wanted to know about the media, but were afraid to ask.

When I say, "My sources tell me," it's my way of getting you to confirm information that I don't know to be true.

When I say, "Well, that's not what I've been told," it means I'm now doubting my sources.

When I say, "You can email a statement," it means that I've figured out I'm not getting anything out of you of relevance and I need to go the bathroom. ...

You've caught me in a good mood and I've decided to listen to your pitch. I may even ask a few questions. But then an email from my brother arrives in which he relates his latest softball exploits and I've now totally lost interest in anything you have to say. ...

I'm leaving you a message, but I really hope you don't call back so I don't have to change the line in my story which reads, "The company did not return calls seeking comment."

PS: Check out the comment made this morning on the PR Fuel site: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The PR Biz (But Were Afraid To Ask) .... *the respect you're shown by PR people is 100% fake - it's hard to respect someone whose rent is less than your cell phone bill;

*we can't wait until your magazine folds/paper does layoffs/freelance career sputters so you can beg me for a job;

*don't take it as a compliment that you were offered an exclusive - it means everyone agreed you were the stupidist or most easily manipulated reporter covering our client;

*that was a great interview at the Vegas trade show - while you're tippity-tapping away in your dingy hotel room desperately trying to make sure you file on time - the client and I will be chortling over how we scammed you while were doing blow and getting massaged by Asian Escorts;

*we harbor contempt for you - willing to sell out your journalist principles for a free lunch -at least we don't pretend were serving some higher purpose;

*you're viewed by us in two ways - a copy-editor for our press releases or as a back-channel to avoid paying for ad space;

*we actually don't care if you ignore our entreaties, we get paid anyway;

*the 23 year old who you speak with is basically doing the same job as a telemarketer - yet he/she more than likely makes 20-30% more salary than you;

*when you get that poorly written press release, understand that most of us can write just as well (if not better than) most of you, but we are edited by lawyers instead of actual editors;

*just because you don't make a lot of money doesn't mean your appearance has to be so slovenly;

*you're right - I haven't read your past articles on the topic, nor do I care to. It won't change anything anyway;

*don't get your ego in a lather because we asked for your bio and past articles, its a formality and no one will read them anyway

Written by by John Kenavifgg

In