PR People: Please Stop Pissing Off Journalists (or How To Pitch The Media)
Today, there are way too many tools and resources available for PR folks to still be making these mistakes. Bottom line: Every writer is different. Do the research required to get to know them.
Simple Google and Twitter searches will tell you exactly what they’re interested in writing about and how they like to be pitched.
I’ve been collecting tweets for the past 90 days or so with journalists’ preferences to assist in this research (and to hopefully start making a better name for ourselves!)…
Advertising Age: Maureen Morrison (@maureenmorrison)
PR people, for the 9 millionth time: if you pitch my coworkers and they say no, do not waste my time by pitching me the same bullshit story.
AllThingsD: Arik Hesseldahl (@ahess24710)
Dear PR people: Before pitching, do a smattering of research or risk wasting your client’s money. Google exists. Use it.
American Banker: Maria Aspan (@mariaaspan)
Can’t believe some PR people STILL call “just to make sure you received the press release I emailed.” Don’t we all have better things to do?
Ars Technica: Jon Brodkin (@jbrodkin)
I set an especially high bar for PR people, almost never follow them unless they’re stalking me and I need to protect myself. [*Note: The real Jon Brodkin would like all readers to know that this was not a general statement, but part of a conversation, and an inside joke to a PR friend.]
Engadget: Dana Wollman (@danawollman)
I don’t like it when PR people put “question” or “quick question” in the subject line. Mostly because I fall for it every time. [In other words, I always read pitches with the subject “quick question.” So, it’s actually quite effective!]
Entrepreneur: Carol Tice (@ticewrites)
#PR people seem to think I’m an editor. Or in NY. Or LA. Just a lowly freelance here, folks! Stop sending me pre-written guest posts.
Investor’s Business Daily: Brian Deagon (@BrianDeagon)
Advice to PR people: Keep your initial pitch clean, simple, powerful. Too much clutter overwhelms a person in a hurry.
Macworld: Joel Mathis (@joelmmathis)
Downside of using Twitter as more than your personal RSS feed: When PR people send you pitches filled with details about your life. Blocked.
National Post: Barry Hertz (@hertzbarry)
Note to PR people: Please don’t send 10MB emails. My waiting-to-be-euthanized computer thanks you in advanced.
Reuters: Emily Kaiser (@EKaiserReuters)
PR firm wants me to tweet their press release with suggested hashtags….Wow. Oh, and the hashtags are 33 characters long. Um, no.
TechCrunch: Anthony Ha (@anthonyha)
Ugh. The tedious obsession with exclusives has driven PR people to tie themselves into knots: “Tech exclusive!” “Semi-exclusive!”
to which @ryanlawler responded…
“exclusive for the next 10 minutes!”
TNW: Brad McCarty (@bradmccarty)
PR people – STOP FREAKING EMAILING ME AT 2 OR 3 ADDRESSES.
to which @CandaceMcCarty
PR people. I’ll be answering Brads phone from now on. Did you email him? Yeah, he got it. I just saved you a phone call.
US News & World Report: Menachem Wecker (@mwecker)
LOVE RT @tylergreendc: New rule: PR people who send me ALL CAPS emails/subject lines will get ALL CAPS emails in reply.
Vanity Fair: Michael Carl (@carlscrush)
Dear PR firm that I have never heard of that clogs up my inbox with mass emails, does your client actually pay you? Do you own a phone?
WSJ/Smart Money: wishes to remain anonymous
What’s worse than getting a stale story pitch? Getting it from multiple people at the same PR firm. Grrr.
Wired: Kim Zetter (@kimzetter)
Time for periodic note to pr people – pls. don’t call on phone to pitch a story; use email, and don’t follow up with phone call.
Xconomy: Luke Timmerman (@ldtimmerman)
Too many PR people calling and leaving VMs ‘just to follow up’ on whether I saw your e-mail release. I did, and skipped it. Pls stop. #PRfail
AND just so you don’t leave this post totally depressed (like I did), here are a few tweets about smart PRs out there (TG!)…
Associated Press: Lou Kesten (@lkesten)
Lots of grumpy game writers today. So thanks to all the good PR people out there who bust it to get us review copies in a timelier fashion.
Biz Journals: Urvaksh Karkaria (@Urvaksh)
Once in a while, PR people surprise me. In an absolutely awesome way.
Business Insider: Steve Kovach (@stevekovach)
Rephrase: Drinking with my favorite PR people in the world tonight, rawr.
Meet The 25 Most Influential PR People Behind The Scenes Of Corporate America http://t.co/MqEPQVzm
Network Computing (@slfisher)
We love PR people when they help us do our job, not obstruct us.
PC Mag: Sascha Segan (@saschasegan)
Good PR people act like expediters in a restaurant, making sure the flow of info goes smoothly.
The Record: Danielle Sanzone (@daniellesanzone)
Kudos to ALL the PR people I’ve worked with today regarding the storm. Everyone has gotten back to me quickly and given me good info. #thanks
And to sum this up with a great quote from IBD journo Brian Deagon… “a pitch should be smooth as silk, but powerful as scotch whisky.” Amen sir. Good luck to all my PR peers out there!