From which part comes the labyrinth of the information and from who? How is worked in special the corporative information, in order that it reaches hearts and minds of those that interests? This specialized work depends, more then one thinks, of the good relationship between company, press office and journalists.
If well worked, the corporative information constructs a name, a brand and many times has weight similar to publicity announce. In case contrary, a good Idea, a concept passes unprovided.
The media now a day can a lot: to incentive sales, give status to a brand or a professional and even overthrow/raise stocks on the stock market.
The shapers opinion put on focus, co-sign and divulge corporative information and launchings to the market, to any part of the planet, nearly on real time, through electronic media (TV and Internet) or, a little later, by the printed press. So, it has equal or even more height than the publicity. “The difference is that on publicity, we control totally the message that we intend to send. On the journalism this is not possible”, says Priscilla Barros L’Oreal’s luxury division press assessor.
According to the kind of the newspaper propose a picture or a product is enough in order to proposes enter through the eyes and stays on the memory of the consumer. In this case the press offices has to perfect itself to dispute these spaces with texts well shaped, good pictures and, yet, to be the opportunities of divulgation of a brand. Without talking about the terms to the dead lines. On this true battle for the publication, the work of the press offices depends basically of precise and agile information through the companies.
For this reason, companies such as Avon, L´Oreal, Natura and O Boticário opted for internal press offices: “We have only internal press assessors for believing that the agility demands for the function requires a tight contact with the brands”, says Priscilla Barros.
Frequently the assessor ends up acting not only as a divulger, but also as a reporter, that searches constantly inside a company a data, a product, an action that could be transformed on new.
To fell how much this relationship company, press assessor and journalists is complex, better is to launch a magnifying glass over the problems of each other.
When an assessor gets a space to divulge on the press, not always the company corresponds to this effort on the supplying of added information or pictures, until the dead line.
“I have already tried to advise our terms to the assessors at the beginning of the year, without being succeeded”, complains a journalist of female magazines of Editora Abril, one of the most important publishing houses.
The clients understand, but not always collaborate, inasmuch as they have priorities on their agenda. “We try to answer to all the solicitations, but sometimes we can do it because of the short period of time”, says Carlos Eduardo Amiralian, president of Phisalia, a medium size Brazilian cosmetic company.
The press offices also have their complaints: “many journalists ask information and products just too close to their dead lines. Sometimes they do this all the times, showing that it is not a matter of eventual unforeseen, but systematic lack of organization”, says L’Oreal internal press office.
Among the company’s difficulties there are yet its representative’s travels, delays on the preparation of products pictures or time to analysing better, next to the company, what it is worth to be divulged.
There are still those companies that presses its press assessors on the anxiety of seeing published stories or products, without knowing that this kind of work is a matter of constructing a relationship between the brand and the journalists and that his requires time. The assessor, to not loose the client, starts to press the journalists rendering eroding the relationship. “The ideal is that the assessors do not call us that much to ask if we received the information, if we will publish them, etc. I try to explain that there is no time to respond to all the requisitions, that if would have interest I’ll call, etc, but it doesn’t works”, says Abril´s journalist.
On the case of a economic story, where it is presented comparative and relevant data, it is necessary that executives and press assessors furnishes the data in a concise, clear and mainly agile way. That’s why it is fundamental that both be well prepared and available, so that happens syntony with the newspaper and with the editions dead lines.
Not always this happens, especially because executives travels a lot. However, depending of the good will of the press assessor and of the company, there are circumstances in which a statement is obtained even that the executive be very far, as it already happened with cosméticos br, that published a declaration of Niasi´s executive, which were at a fair in Dubai, Arabian Emirates.
In this sense the good relationship between assessors and journalists is fundamental and many times delicate. One depends of the other and then the ethics and professionalism acquires great importance. The journalist can’t favour a company or press assessor.
The press office by its turn must offer the information, independent of the newspaper. When the journalist of a little, but well intentioned newspaper, is well informed and demands complementary information about a new, or an interview with a great executive, the ethic would be that the press assessor do not deny the request. However, what happens is that sometimes it is delayed (or deceive), in the name of the company’s policy or strategy. The information or the executive is preserved to the great newspapers, which, of course, has more power and circulation.
“Unfortunately, the agility level on the interviews settlement depends always of the interest of the company on talking about the theme that matters the interview. And there’s nothing more annoying then you fell yourself ‘deceived’ by a press office or assessor”, says Marcus Frediani, editor of the main Brazilian segment magazine Atualidade Cosmética.
Thorny themes such as values usually generates postpones or refusals on interviews settlement, which prejudices the company’s transparency and the work of the journalist.
In Brazil it is use to have a great bashfulness in relation to these number’s data and the journalist end up adapting himself to this and goes already asking: “at least on percentage”.
“This has to be with the maturity of the market; but if the Brazilian cosmetic industry wants to get mature one day, it has to leave the vanity and the self promotion aside and learn to furnishes consistent information to the press”, proposes Frediani.
What the journalists have also to understand is that, at least in Brazil, not always the companies offers to the press offices, assessors or journalists access to all the information.
L´Oreal considers internal matter the way that it positions itself in relation to its divulgation. “Basically we have restrictions about launching strategies (we can’t anticipate them to avoid concurrences) and numbers (profit, etc), says Priscilla Barros”.
Natura is the only Brazilian cosmetic company that for a few years divulges its yearly reports, more recently its quarters, a common practice between the great international companies. Its reports are published on the economic newspaper Valor Economico and the result of this transparency acts as a positive factor next to the press and public opinion. But it had already restrictions about information by the time when it was opening company’s capital, once certain information could act directly over the results of its actions at the stock market.
Finally, another thorny matter is when the company or the interviewed person wants to see the final text of the interview or story. The press office again sees itself in a delicate position when it has to ask this to the journalist.
The client that doesn’t know the journalist work generally has this kind of attitude. The editorial rooms normally have an editor whose work is exactly to evaluate if a subject is well verified. Generally he perceives, finds out with the journalist and corrects when there are communication lacks. If the journalist is not sure of what was Said, his obligation is to check out the information.
Experiment journalists reads in front of the interviewed the statements in which could have doubts, exactly to avoid this kind of constraint.
“Before doing the interview, I look always to “read the interviewed rights”, in synthesis, to explain him that I’m there to do a reportage work and not a release”, tells Frediani.
“I try to escape through the tangent, on the talk, cause it is not magazine’s policy to send the material to be approved or not”, says Renata Ashcar, correspondent of cosmetic segment Happi magazine.
By anyhow the wheel spins and the next information is the way, in order to this polemics, but productive relation has the chance of perfecting.