Hello again, readers.
Since we didn’t quite have time to peruse our favorite pitch responses last Friday, here’s a new edition of our weekly media relations series, put together with the help of our friends at Muck Rack.
First, Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times may be the most powerful tech journalist in all of media right now, and he has a point to make:
small startups that hire PR agencies that then pitch me poorly — I feel bad for you.
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) June 9, 2015
There’s a serious question there.
Another question to which we do not know the answer via Danielle Tcholakian of DNA Info: does cold call pitching ever work?
I really hope you don’t get PR points for going the extra mile and calling me up to pitch me a story completely unrelated to my beat.
— Danielle Tcholakian (@danielleiat) June 10, 2015
Next, Jack Marshall of The Wall Street Journal wonders why some tech pitches have to be so earnest:
“company X would really like to get their story out there” is a really weird yet surprisingly frequent PR pitch.
— Jack Marshall (@JackMarshall) June 10, 2015
That one does sort of go without saying. Desperation is a real thing though, via Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica:
It must be Wednesday. I’m getting random PR pitches with wildly exaggerated claims that come with mid-week desperation.
— Sean Gallagher (@thepacketrat) June 10, 2015
We get it. But sometimes, as Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed reminds us, the fates combine to encourage a perfect storm of pitches:
Brian Braiker of Digiday has another pet peeve: the pitch email designed to look like it is part of an existing conversation.
the fake “Re:” subject line might be the very most loathsome PR pitch trick.
— brian braiker (@slarkpope) June 8, 2015
That’s really not so bad…but it is directly deceptive. Then there’s the pitch that tries a little too hard to tie its subject to a completely unrelated story, via top pop culture critic Alan Sepinwall:
Just got a PR pitch trying to draw a VERY tenuous connection to Caitlyn Jenner, only it uses male pronouns (and, at times, Bruce).
— Alan Sepinwall (@sepinwall) June 6, 2015
Sometimes even unsuccessful pitches can be fun, though. Here’s a particularly stinky one sent to Tom Philpot of Mother Jones:
PR pitch of of the day (subject header): How rancid is your fish oil? — Tom Philpott (@tomphilpott) June 10, 2015
This one sent to Colin Campbell of the Baltimore Sun is even more ridiculous, but we do find ourselves oddly intrigued: For more from the sewers of party politics, the most amusing thing about this pitch sent to Lachlan Markay of The Washington Free Beacon is that it links back to his own story…so the topic is trending because he already covered it.
There’s failing to credit someone with a story they did write, and then there’s the opposite, via Ben White of Politico:
Today in bad PR pitches: “Hi Ben. I saw your story on [story I didn’t write]. I wonder if you wanted to talk to…” — Ben White (@morningmoneyben) June 11, 2015
Next, did you get excited about the newer, longer Twitter DM feature? Seth Fiegerman of Mashable is skeptical:
That sound you hear is just PR people rejoicing about their newfound power to pitch you on Twitter.
— Seth Fiegerman (@sfiegerman) June 11, 2015
Next, via Nigel Chiwaya of DNA Info, has this ever happened to anyone else?
That moment when a person included in a PR pitch was one of your high school teachers.
— Nigel Chiwaya (@seenigel) June 10, 2015
Finally, in case you thought that all exchanges between PRs and contacts on Twitter were acrimonious, here’s one via Ryan Lawler, formerly with TechCrunch:
Pretty sure no one ever made such a pitch, but hyperbole is fun.