Happy Friday, all.
A certain British person thinks that “smug” journalists should hold off on tweeting their complaints about PR tactics because many reps are smart, competent professionals…and they also happen to make more money than the people they’re pitching, SO THERE.
While we may agree with Mr. Gwyther’s assertion that media tends to be a bit too flippant when commenting on bad pitches, we very much resent the idea that “hacks” need to give more respect to “flacks” because the latter industry happens to be in better shape at the moment. A follow-up op-ed argues that the two parties are part of the same fragile ecosystem and that we might need to “meet in the middle,” which makes a bit more sense.
In the meantime, journos will not stop sharing their annoyance at bad pitching practices.
On that note, here’s another roundup of such complaints, collected with the help of our friends at Muck Rack.
First, an entry from L.A. Times writer Tina Susman, who does NOT cover dental services in Manhattan:
Bad PR pitch of the day, for dental service. A little molestation with your checkup? And they sent it twice. pic.twitter.com/n7q8nRxmyF
— Tina Susman (@tinasusman) August 13, 2015
That looks more like ad spam, no?
Next, fellow L.A. Times writer Joe Del Bruno reminds us that brevity is the soul of wit…and many other things:
PR Pitch of the Day: “I’m writing a brief followup from my previous email,” says the PR person. Then writes 16 paragraph email.
— Joe Bel Bruno (@JoeBelBruno) August 13, 2015
In what may be the week’s most predictable pitch, an expert wants to discuss the most-discussed fake “meltdown” of the summer:
Just got two PR pitches about Tinder & Vanity Fair—offering “experts” to discuss… the fact that people are discussing this? Unclear.
— Svati Kirsten Narula (@svatikirsten) August 12, 2015
Thanks to Dan Zak of the Washington Post, we can all laugh at something a proper PR would never do:
— Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) August 12, 2015
Another WaPo writer also has a very good piece of advice for tech clients:
OH: “If you can’t describe your company without referencing another company in a PR pitch, then your company is doomed.”
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) August 12, 2015
Next, a couple of cases of bad geography. It really does happen to the best of us:
dammit, PR person, you pitch me on an event at my favorite cocktail lounge in dc and say there will be a dance floor, this isn’t fair
— Asawin Suebsaeng (@swin24) August 12, 2015
Love the PR pitch that says they’ll be in DC and want to meet. Guess they don’t realize I’m based in NYC.
— Elana Zak (@elanazak) August 9, 2015
Location is an easy thing to mess up–and so, apparently, is time:
PR pitches from the past/future pic.twitter.com/ULMibHTbUp
— kateyrich (@kateyrich) August 12, 2015
Speaking of locales, how much do you know about THE TERRORISTS LIVING NEXT DOOR?!
Good days start w/ this PR pitch: ISLAMIC MILITANTS ARE IN THE UNITED STATES, AND THESE MILITANTS MIGHT JUST BE YOUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBORS — jack healy (@jackhealyNYT) August 10, 2015
Now we’re a little scared for the Times’ Jack Healy. You know what’s even worse than ISIS neighbors, though? ROBOTS.
Got a PR email with the subject, “Robot Invasion.” That’s the best way to get me to read your pitch. — Patrick Cornell (@PCornellCNN) August 11, 2015
We SO would have opened that email. Dunno about this one from Richard Nieva of CNET:
That’s just a standard formatting thing, though.
Connecting robot invasions to whatever the previous pitch was pushing may be a stretch…but what about tying an RV sales star to the candidacy of one Carly Fiorina?
So you probably noticed that Twitter eliminated the 140-character limit on DMs, but based on this exchange with Steve Kovach of the newly launched Tech Insider, you should still keep things as brief as possible:
Unlimited DMs. So if I open up DMs again does that mean I’ll start getting full-length PR pitches? — Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) August 12, 2015
A slightly sad truth from Holly Hacker of Dallas News:
It’s back to school time, which means a torrent of company PR pitches poorly disguised as story ideas. #WeCallThoseAds
— Holly Hacker (@hollyhacker) August 12, 2015
This one from Jared Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune is not really disguised as a story. It’s more a basic fact:
I just got a PR pitch for National Toilet Paper Day on Aug 26 story that’s states we spend 30 minutes on toilet daily.
— Jared S. Hopkins (@JaredSHopkins) August 12, 2015
That said, Sally French of MarketWatch gives us the best fact of this (or any other) week:
Friday PR pitch: “One in Ten Personal Assistants have Taken Drugs in the Office”
— Sally French (@SAFmedia) August 7, 2015
Seriously, though: don’t take drugs in the office. And have a great weekend.