Bring back blogfights. I miss @arrington going off on someone for an ill-thought-through post or PR pitch. It all happens on Twitter now.
— Martin Bryant (@MartinSFP) April 13, 2015
Obvious statement of the day: PR plays a crucial but often unsung role in the work done by journalists around the world every day. DUH.
Journos rarely sing the praises of their PR contacts in public, and most pros wouldn’t want such attention anyway because we all know that the key word in media relations is “relations” as in relationships.
That said, journalists CAN offer tips on what to do and what not to do. In a new feature developed with some help from our friends at Muck Rack (check out the Shorty Awards this coming Monday!), we’ve begun to collect media figures’ best pitch responses in a weekly feature we call “Pitch, Please.”
It’s true, as Martin Bryant of The Next Web notes in the tweet above, that much of the bitching process now occurs on Twitter.
For example, Pete Schroeder of The Hill notes that recent Tax Day pitches quickly gave way to another kind of seasonal promotion…
Good News: It’s nearly Tax Day, which means an end to Tax Day PR pitches. Bad News: The 4/20 pitches from the marijuana industry have begun.
— Pete Schroeder (@peteschroeder) April 14, 2015
He’s not lying. Debbie Carlson of The Guardian has covered corn in the past, but this one was a bit of a long shot:
Got my 1st PR pitch on marijuana, promoting something to launch on 4/20 (naturally). Told her those aren’t the type of crops I cover.
— Debbie Carlson (@DebbieCarlson1) April 16, 2015
Of course, someone managed to combine the week’s two dominant themes in a pitch to Nancy Cook of National Journal:
Most entertaining pr pitch today: “Tomorrow is Tax Day, which is a nightmare for many marijuana entrepreneurs…” — Nancy Cook (@nancook) April 14, 2015
Munchie-based stories don’t have to be about the green stuff, though. Kat Kinsman of Tasting Table is impressed by this year’s array of grilling gear:
Mark your calendars: Today is apparently Send Your Grilling Gear PR Pitches to Editors Day. (There’s actually some neato stuff this year.) — Kat Kinsman (@kittenwithawhip) April 16, 2015
But some of this week’s pitches were simply bad.
Robert Wright of Financial Times reminds us that geography is kind of important:
I get a lot of PR pitches irrelevant to my job. But a big shout-out to the PRs who just tried to interest me in a new UK restaurant chain. — Robert Wright (@RKWinvisibleman) April 15, 2015
…as are simple things like getting the contact’s name right (via Kate Vinton of Forbes):
I should start counting how many PR pitches I get addressed to Kevin instead of Kate (unclear why it’s always Kevin & not Kyle or something) — Kate Vinton (@kate_vinton) April 15, 2015
Here’s a good tip: don’t make assumptions about someone, like Kia Makarechi, who happens to write for Vanity Fair:
I really love PR pitches that start with “Calling all Fashionistas”! — Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) April 15, 2015
And be careful when searching for writers who cover the “Cool Dads” vertical (via Hilary Sargent of The Boston Globe):
Joe Del Bruno writes about the entertainment business for The Los Angeles Times…and his beat does not usually involve singing cats:
PR Pitch of the Day: This little subject line nugget in my inbox — “Cat-chella Festival: Meow Mix’s Kitty Girl Group Releases Hit Song!” — Joe Bel Bruno (@JoeBelBruno) April 14, 2015
FWIW, that one did work on The Advocate.
Our favorite pitch of the week, however, has to be this masterpiece sent to BuzzFeed’s Jack Shepherd:
I am both intrigued and deeply concerned about where this PR pitch is going … pic.twitter.com/czdXP01yoK
— Jack Shepherd (@expresident) April 17, 2015
We don’t even want to see the rest of that email. Until next week…