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By Julie Bagdikian

Two years ago, when I first set foot in New York City, I had trepidations about moving our lives from Paris to New York City. What if the City that never sleeps turned out to be the City I wanted to escape? What if I liked tripping on the Parisian pavement better than on the streets of New York? Thankfully, none of that happened. My transformation into a French New Yorker went successfully, in part because I got to keep practicing my beloved profession of choice. But Public Relations in the U.S. of A is not exactly similar to relations publiques in France. Here are three ways they differ:


  • Reporters tend to write more subjectively in France: French reporters don’t report in the etymological sense of the term. They form their own thinking based on the information provided and interviews conducted, and don’t hesitate to incorporate their opinion in their articles—and not just in the front page edito.


  • You can buy a French reporter coffee: Not only is it okay to pick up the check when a client is meeting a reporter, but French PR agencies like to send a box of chocolate at Christmas to the reporters they have good relationships with. And no one is shocked.  Rather they receive it in good spirits.


  • French reporters prefer in-person meetings to a phone interview: They don’t have more time in their day than their American counterparts, but do favor a two-hour lunch over a hurried phone interview. Deskside interviews are not a thing in the country of slow-eating.


I suggest that US Journalist take a look at these and try some out — especially the 2-hour lunch…