Happy Friday again, everybody.
First up, Owen Williams of Venture Beat has a helpful hint for what does not constitute a newsworthy announcement:
PSA: “We did well on Product Hunt” is *not a good PR pitch* That is all.
— Owen Williams (@ow) May 21, 2015
Next up in tech, Emil Protalinksi of Venture Beat emphasizes the importance of basic spell check (though we all get the point, duh):
From a PR pitch: “I would really appreciate if you could intimate me with your decision.”
— Emil Protalinski (@EPro) May 18, 2015
We really sympathize with this string because it can be tough to make a tech-related release stand out. Steve O’Hear of TechCrunch wasn’t too impressed with this one:
“What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?” AN ACTUAL OPENING LINE FROM AN ACTUAL PR PITCH — Steve O’Hear (@sohear) May 20, 2015
For yet another problematic tech pitch, Casey Newton of The Verge reminds us that the basics do need to work:
Thank you to this failed pitch for teaching me how to laugh again pic.twitter.com/5uoLA6ys1B
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) May 19, 2015
It’s true that tech reporters often have very little patience with pitches. But, in their defense, there’s a good reason for that. From Kyle Russell of TechCrunch in response to Karyne Levy of NerdWallet:
He’s barely exaggerating, if at all.
Next, a harsh one from Ronald Barba of tech.co:
Dear, PR girl who sent me a follow-up email hours after your first pitch: go do something with your fucking life. It’s fucking Monday.
— Ronald Barba (@RonaldPBarba) May 18, 2015
Ouch. We should note that most of the people who faved that one were PRs. And yes, we have received two follow-ups to the same pitch on the same day.
Next, Adam Feuerstein of The Street reminds us that it’s never really a good idea to cold call someone’s personal phone:
To the PR person I don’t know who called my cell phone and LEFT A PITCH on my voice mail — Don’t do that again. Ever.
— Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein) May 19, 2015
In other can’t-believe-someone-tried-this responses, keep in mind that Motoko Rich is a New York Times reporter:
Boldest PR pitch in a while: “If you’re swamped, we’re happy to draft an article for you if that’ll help you.”
— Motoko Rich (@motokorich) May 20, 2015
Do people really still do this?!
Next, Suzanne Barlyn of Reuters has another basic tip: sources should ideally not have to catch up on the stories they’re referencing as “experts.”
PR tip #1: don’t pitch a source for a second-day story if source must read the news at issue while talking to reporter on deadline. — Suzanne Barlyn (@SuzanneBarlyn) May 15, 2015
On the holidays front, Tyler Coates of The New York Post is ready for the Father’s Day pitches…sort of:
I’m already getting Father’s Day PR pitches and I’m ready to reply back using my Dead Dad card because that’s always pleasant. — Tyler Coates (@tylercoates) May 21, 2015
Would it be this card?! Because that’s kind of mean, dude.
Here’s a very interesting and arguably positive conversation aimed at journalists, many of whom–as this very feature makes clear–aren’t sure about the most appropriate ways to respond to a mismatched pitch.
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) May 20, 2015
We really like Luvvie Ajayi’s post because she encourages the pitchees to be gentle on the first round; she obviously understands how challenging media relations can be. And we totally agree that it’s more productive to be constructive.
That said, many journalists like, say, the TechCrunch scribe above just don’t have time to respond to every pitch, even if they have a template at the ready. And some people disagreed with Ajayi:
Kushner does have a point, though this really is a learning process.
Finally, we end with a positive.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin does indeed cover pro wrestling! Not sure if this one worked, but it is an amusing and well-targeted pitch for a tough client:
Hey, a worthwhile PR pitch! pic.twitter.com/ZAXYS6pl5M
— Barry Petchesky (@barryap1) May 19, 2015
Pitching is kind of like acting in that way: you have to stick to the script for the most part, but you do the best you can with the material you have.
And we’re not afraid to admit that we totally googled “scotty 2 hotty” after reading that one. His Twitter profile is…really something.
Hope everyone has a great (and hopefully pitch-free) long weekend.