6 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Rely on Automated Pitching


We have a confession to make, readers: we get the pitching challenge because we’ve done it ourselves. We know that many firms emphasize quantity over quality despite all evidence to the contrary, and we understand that the pressure to score press often overwhelms basic logic — especially when employers hand out performance bonuses.

So yes: mass pitching is part of the game.

However, we would like to take a moment to warn those about to send pitches to all 324 contacts on a given “oh sh*t we’re f*cked” mailing list: please stop for a moment and reconsider.

Here, from our perspective, are six good reasons why.

1. Multiple pitches to the same source

CLONESWe understand that our masthead may be a little less clear than some, but if you click on our names you’ll find our current emails. It’s pretty easy.

That said, we can’t tell you how often we get pitches sent to our editor, the larger blog and our contributor Nancy Lazarus either simultaneously or several minutes apart. In the most egregious cases, our managing editor at Mediabistro forwards us the same damned pitch directly afterward.

This happens even more often on our sister site, AgencySpy.

In a way, we get it: you want to make sure someone sees your email. Three questions, though: has Nancy ever responded to you directly from prnewser@mediabistro.com? Has she ever posted on a company reaching its Kickstarter goals? Do you need to send three emails to the same place?

No, no and no.

2. Inaccurate contact info

wrongEverybody makes mistakes, right? But again — and we feel like we’re repeating ourselves here — we still get at least five pitches a week directed toward our co-founder Jason Chupick, who hasn’t officially been a contributor since 2010.

And they’re not sent to his personal email, either. We get three emails sent to the same address with different names in their headers!

If that’s not a sign of the limitations of automation, then we don’t know what is. We realize that we’re just a humble trade blog, but this tells us that you don’t really give a sh*t.

3. Repeated pitches

repeatingLast week we got a pitch about Kim Kardashian’s video game twice within a thirty-minute span. We took the time to respond not because we were interested but because we wanted our poor contact to know that his automated service was working against him.

When we received the same pitch for the third time the following day, we just threw up our hands and added the offending address to the spam folder.

(This is far from the first time that’s happened.)

4. Automated follow-ups

followingOf course follow-ups are necessary in some cases because messages do actually fall through the “cracks” in a crowded inbox from time to time. But we’re trying to remember the last time we responded to an obviously automated follow-up to a pitch and nothing comes to mind because that has never happened.

Still better than cold-call follow-ups, though.

5. Poorly targeted pitches

airball-terrible-basketball-shotsThis is the one that really kills us. Because AgencySpy somehow ended up on far too many “sites that cover advertising in its many, many varied forms” lists, a majority of pitches that we receive for that blog suffer from the square pegs/round hole conundrum.

A director who does work for your production studio got a byline on a new music video? That’s cool; post it on your Facebook page. But don’t ask us to cover it, and please don’t tell us that you’d really appreciate it if we shared it on our social networks (as a favor to you, obviously).