Meet the Media – Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is a Senior Reporter for PRWeek. He is based in New York City.

What’s your top priority at work for today?

I cover PR agencies, so scoops, scoops, scoops. I need to know who’s leaving what firm, where they’re going and why they left. And I really want to know what RFPs are out there and what accounts are up for review. It may not be something your firm is going to pitch but I would love to learn about it.

I love to do business trend features, pieces on agency life, etc. But the currency in my news room is exclusives. I can’t do features about the great new tech your firm uses if I’m not solidly covering the news on my beat. Oh and I always protect my sources and respect on background and off the record discussions.

Tell us about your dream assignment.

I love my current job. But eventually — yes this is really vague — I want to produce stories (written, filmed, whatever) that explore psychologically why and how people do things or get through events and what happens to them after. I don’t have a name for this beat or a specific assignment yet. But that’s my goal so I’m putting it out in the universe.

Describe one of the wackiest proposals/ideas you’ve been sent.

Nothing specific comes to mind but I remember receiving pitches from Chinese industrial manufacturers when I was a gaming reporter. I have no idea how that happens.

What is your PR/marketing pet peeve?

Two specific things and one general gripe.

First, I really, really, REALLY hate it when PR people don’t get back to me because they don’t want to be quoted as saying “no comment.” And also, something is news when it happened, not when you decided to announce it. Don’t pitch me a story about a new hire when the person started work three months ago but you decided to wait to announce it.

Also, if you wonder why reporters are so cynical, it comes from constantly being given spin even when you ask non-controversial questions.

As a business reporter I really want to understand what’s going on at your business and in your industry so I can, in turn, tell my readers. It’s not just the whole reason for me having a job, it’s interesting stuff. What you do is interesting.

But so often all we get are vague feel-good quotes with no solid information. I was in PR and I’ve been on your side of the equation so I know it’s very difficult. But you have to start telling your clients or your in-house bosses that not everything needs to be spun.

The PR industry spends so much time talking about story telling and branded content and authentically connecting with people. But it all rings a little hollow if you can’t even have a straightforward discussion with a business reporter about the business climate.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Canada in a city you probably never heard and then lived in Vancouver for a few years before moving to Las Vegas. I love NYC but I do miss the desert. It’s so dry and sunny. And in case you don’t know, Vegas is one of the best hiking locations in the country.

Questions or comments for Thomas? Tweet him at @thdomo. You can also leave a comment below or tweet us @LandisComm.

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6 Comments

  1. Brianne Mille Reply

    Great advice – especially on the “no comment” issue. Our business is about building relationships – ghosting is about ignoring them. Thanks for the blog!

  2. David Cumpston Reply

    Thanks for sharing this insight, Thomas! I always love to get a temperature check from journalists like you to learn how media/PR professional relationships are evolving. Rest assured that we’ll continue doing our part to ensure our staff has the tools they need to succeed.
    Regards,
    David C.

  3. Sean Dowdall Reply

    Thanks Thomas for your post. I love the dream assignment idea of – why they did it and how they got through it.

  4. David Landis Reply

    Thomas, thanks so much for contributing to our blog. Who knew that you lived in Vancouver and NYC, two of my favorite cities? (Notice how I left out Las Vegas, sorry!). And, you can always count on us to give you solid information instead of bogus quotes. I guarantee it. Cheers, David

  5. Ashley Boarman Reply

    Thomas – love your thought about stiff sounding quotes. The key is removing buzzword-type speak and making the comment more conversational. It’s painful to read quotes that don’t sound as if they came from an actual human being. Thanks for contributing to our blog.

  6. Craig MacLellan Reply

    Totally agree with your comments that not everything needs to be spun, Thomas. Being straightforward normally means both parties getting what they are after. Thanks for contributing to the LCI Blog!