Sometimes you have to grab your own story back from a reporter and kill it quite dead. There are going to be some institution directors who will hate me for saying this but sometimes the best thing you can do is to prevent one of your own positive stories from being in the media.
Why would you do this? Usually it’s because you know deep down that the story really isn’t that great and although the reporter is keen, you know it won’t pan out to be what they really want. Save the reporter the time and they’ll thank you for it. Of course, I’m assuming you didn’t promote that story to them (I hope not!) but they found it out some other way.
There are a few other circumstances where you might want to kill a story apart from it not being that great but it is the main one. Another reason I’ve encountered is that you have an even more newsworthy story coming up soon and you would rather it ran.
Your reputation as a PIO depends on how well you can imagine the needs of the reporter. If you can do much of the thinking and analysis for them ahead of time, you’ll save them time, the most precious resource they don’t have enough of.