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.