When no pitch is better than a bad pitch

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By Leo Valiquette

Among the various blogs I follow, one that stands out for a daily chuckle is the Bad Pitch Blog, which outs and critiques bad pitches by those who attempt to pass themselves off as PR practitioners.

The individual reporter or editor is often swamped by pitches of one sort or another, whether it be a press release that’s been dispatched via an email blast or a more personal contact by phone or e-mail. Most often it’s the direct contact that’s going to net the most fish, provided the PR person in question has taken the time to ensure they are pitching the right story at the right publication and have actually provided said editor or reporter with something to chew on. In clear and concise terms, what is the news value and why is it something they should consider? If a PR person can’t convey this in less than 10 seconds on the phone, or in a few punchy sentences via e-mail, they’ve committed premature pitching. Rather than make the most of the opportunity, they’ve blown it. Editors and reporters who feel they’re being nagged by someone who hasn’t done their homework get cranky. (Trust me on this, I used to be one of those cranky editors).

As this latest from the Bad Pitch Blog demonstrates, even worse than not conveying your message crisply is bothering to pursue media with no message at all. It’s like sending a resume with a cover letter that only reads “it’s all in the resume.” See for yourself how a misguided PR practitioner earned her dubious kudos on the Bad Pitch Blog in 10 words or less.

[tag] public relations, pitching, media relations [/tag]

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