Hello, readers. How was your week?
It’s Friday again, which means that it’s time for another edition of our collaboration with Muck Rack in which we catalog journalists’ responses to the best and (mostly) worst pitches of the week.
First, you knew it was coming…DADBOD. There’s a pitch for every hashtag, we guess:
Been dreaming of the day I would get my first dadbod PR pitch and it turns out I was dreaming of a today.
— Jon Wilde (@jiwilde) May 13, 2015
At least it was a men’s magazine, right? There are pitches that are a little too sexy and those that just can’t help but bore everyone involved to tears:
Today’s winner for least-appealing PR pitch: “_________ Bank Sets Nationwide Precedence for Automating Assessment of Charges to Accounts” — Luke Seemann (@bikesarefun) May 13, 2015
Then there’s this one:
PR pitch in my inbox for “the first anonymous geolocation heat map for cannabis consumers to broadcast their happiness around the word”
— Ernest Scheyder (@ErnestScheyder) May 13, 2015
That, like, doesn’t make sense, Scoob. But while we’re on the topic of geography, AK and AR are not quite the same thing:
Now on to the week’s biggest media news item: Verizon’s acquisition of AOL for its sweet, sweet ad tech assets. As Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal notes, everything else played second string on Tuesday:
PR folks: bad day to pitch a tiny ad tech startup. — Jack Marshall (@JackMarshall) May 12, 2015
Of course, that didn’t stop people from trying. Nor did it discourage those who MAY have been a little late to the game:
got a PR pitch with the subject line, “source – Verizon To Buy AOL”… I wonder who the source is — The real Jon Brodkin (@jbrodkin) May 12, 2015
On the subject of subject lines, this one is almost a winner:
PR pitch o’ the day: Award-Winning Author’s New Book Weaves a Wacky Tale of Wine, Women, Nuns & Villains — Ron Charles (@RonCharles) May 8, 2015
Wow. What a wild, winding, windy tale that must be.
Now, we’re all about specificity in pitches. But this one sent to Doug Schneider of the Green Bay Press-Gazette might be a little too specific:
Today’s PR pitch: “Innovative beach umbrella” guaranteed to survive winds up to 42 mph. At 43, I guess, you’re on your own.
— Doug Schneider (@PGDougSchneider) May 11, 2015
For some back-to-basics tips, here’s Meg Tirrell of CNBC:
Periodic but unfortunately necessary reminder to PR people: when you call, please ask if we have time to talk before launching into pitch
— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) May 14, 2015
This is especially true if it’s a cold call, dudes. Also–and this one happens a good bit:
pet peeve: PR people who dont do their research and pitch you “hey you should meet my client” emails even tho you’ve covered that company — Kia K. (@imkialikethecar) May 15, 2015
Every PR how-to emphasizes the value of learning your target’s beat, but Kim Zetter of Wired reminds us that the message doesn’t always sink in:
Pro tip for PR folks: please research the beats that tech journalists cover and pitch ONLY topics specific to those beats.
— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) May 12, 2015
Of course, learning a beat is one thing. Providing real news is another:
PR flacks doing a Monday assault on my inbox with cold pitch infosec-fakestory emails: Your PR is bad and you should feel bad. FOREVER. — Violet Blue ® (@violetblue) May 11, 2015
Our next tweet from Erin McCann of The Guardian addresses a serious challenge: determining who actually chooses which stories to cover.
Me to PR guy: ‘i’m sorry i’m not a commissioning editor’ PR guy: ‘ok, so how can we pitch to you?’ Me: ‘…” — erin mccann (@mccanner) May 12, 2015
That one is close to our hearts because we get a lot of pitches for our sister site AgencySpy that go directly to contributors when the site’s editor [Ed. note: that’s me] is the one who decides what will get covered. It’s complicated.
Speaking of dubious practices, can we please stop doing this?
First time I’ve ever seen a “Suggested tweet” in an email PR pitch. — Leeanne Griffin (@LGriffinCT) May 12, 2015
Finally here’s a great one from Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal, who reinforces a common acronym: Keep It Simple, Stupid:
I just got my first one-sentence pitch, and instinctively I responded right away. That, PR folks, is how it’s done. — Christopher Mims (@mims) May 8, 2015
Yes, we know this one was from last week. But Mims makes a very valuable point:
Keep that in mind until next Friday!
OK, one more. We had to share this one because it is perfect in its own way:
Adorable PR pitch of the day: A small local town wants media to cover a new speed limit sign being put in.
— Robert Scheer (@bobscheer) May 12, 2015
Have a good weekend, everyone.