Happy Friday/May Day/springtime, readers!
Yesterday we shared some positive takes on the pitching process thanks to Jasmine Bina of JB Communications and her blog “Best Pitch I Ever Got,” in which journalists reveal the stories behind pitches that worked.
Today, however, it’s back to your favorite thing: media contacts airing their pitch grievances to the world at large (collected with help from our good friends at Muck Rack).
This week’s first “worst pitch ever” actually did work for one blog. And who wouldn’t want to cover a product that encourages young men to pee on British politicians?!
Oh, right: the BBC.
Worst PR pitch ever”Young men in bars..have the chance to show the party leaders what they really think of them during a trip to the toilet”
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) April 27, 2015
Justin Fenton of The Baltimore Sun got a pitch that sounds suspiciously like one we also received. A certain person who shall not be named should feel very dirty for spamming so many people with this one:
Bizarre PR pitch: A PR company offering me an interview with a Baltimore gangster from the 80s – who’s in federal prison
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) April 28, 2015
So everyone has opinions on Baltimore. Coincidentally, everyone also happens to have opinions on Tesla!
Getting all kinds of PR pitches offering “perspective ahead of the Tesla announcement.” Typically that perspective is called speculation. — Dana Hull (@danahull) April 28, 2015
…and, of course, everyone has opinions on cyber security:
Watch out for those DANGEROUS Millennials, though:
PR pitch I received today: “Millennials Pose Threat to Company Confidentiality and Information Security.” So does everybody else.
— Omar L. Gallaga (@omarg) April 30, 2015
In Even More Inappropriate Pitches…Slate is famous for contradictory opinions. But this?!
Sickening: PR pitches for fertility doctor stories pegged to Mother’s Day. Get the fuck out of my inbox. — Laura Helmuth (@laurahelmuth) April 29, 2015
Fertility doctors are one thing. Pitching a story based on a recent suicide, as shared by Timothy Seppala of Engadget? WOW.
Tech writer Rob Pegorago didn’t get a bad pitch so much as one involving a company with a very unfortunate name (tough assignment!):
Got a PR pitch for a tech startup named Circle that has some ambitious, society-wide goals. Is Dave Eggers an investor? — Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) April 30, 2015
Now a couple on the language front.
Stanley Pignal of The Economist makes a good point: people in finance need a good thesaurus.
Amazing how many finance PR pitches land in my Spam folder. I presume because they contain suspicious keywords. This is a feature not a bug — Stanley Pignal (@spignal) April 29, 2015
Meanwhile, Quentin Hardy of The New York Times reminds us that everyone makes typos…and everyone else rags on them for it:
Just got a PR pitch on a startup “coming out of steal.” Admirable candor. — Quentin Hardy (@qhardy) April 29, 2015
Typos are tough. So are subject lines:
“Yaassss!” or “No, Gaga!” is not the email subject heading you want to get my attention for a PR pitch — Joseph Volpe (@jrvolpe) April 30, 2015
…and so are “embargo” clarifications:
Today’s PR pitch fail: Sending email of report, then sending the same report under “embargo” half an hour later. — Paul (@pmonies) April 28, 2015
Mistakes, we make ’em. But pitching shoes to someone who covers politics?
PR pitch fail: “I am writing to pass on something new that could be a good fit for your readers.” followed by description of leather shoes. — Sally Goldenberg (@SallyGold) April 27, 2015
On the lighter side of things, we don’t know whether Jesse Singal of New York magazine actually received a “dadbod” pitch–but it certainly looks like someone was on the beat:
Setting the over/under for the number of workdays before I get a dadbod PR pitch at 1.5 — Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) April 30, 2015
Rachel Lerman of The Business Journal broke some big news this week: Edelman is now pitching via Snapchat.
Just got my first pr pitch via Snapchat. You are amazing @MelissaMPowell
— Rachel Lerman (@rachelerman) April 30, 2015
Finally, because we not-so-secretly love Star Wars: this may not have been an appropriate pitch for Joe Bel Bruno of The Los Angeles Times.
But we would buy it:
PR Pitch of the Day: Yes, this is a thing. Star Wars themed ducktape. pic.twitter.com/7SAOVqhMDO
— Joe Bel Bruno (@JoeBelBruno) April 27, 2015
A certain someone once predicted this very phenomenon…
Until next week, keep the pitches coming: the good, the bad, and the #PRFail.