“Leave your ego at the door” – James Curtis goes 60 seconds with Gorkana

It’s rare to read about Richard III, Arsenal, Malala and PR in the same article, but Stampa director James Curtis packed a lot into his ’60 seconds with…’ interview on media intelligence service Gorkana this month.

James answered questions ranging from “What’s the most important thing you should consider if you are thinking about getting into PR?” and “What’s the most common misconception that PRs have about the media?” to “How can you tell a campaign is succeeding?” and “If you could change one thing in the industry, what would that be?”

Journalists crossing to PR need to leave their ego at the door, James said: “Professional satisfaction shifts from seeing your own name and opinions in lights, to helping your client get all the attention.” Among his other tips were develop a thick skin, and always follow-up – never assume a journalist has read your email, however lovingly you crafted it.

PR people often complain about journalists not getting back to them, but it’s hard to imagine the number of pitches and calls reporters receive, James said, noting that he used to be bombarded in his journalism days, especially when he was a features editor. The best sign that a PR campaign is succeeding is when journalists call you more than you call them, he added.

As for the one thing he’d change in the industry, James would ban the words ‘delighted’, ‘thrilled’, ‘landmark’, ‘leverage’ and ‘solution’ from press releases.

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