Happy Friday before the long weekend, readers.
Everyone on the PRN team has been a little busier than usual with our other responsibilities (congratulations on the new gig, Tonya!), but we found a way to squeeze in some time for another round of tweets from media folks responding to the best, worst and weirdest pitches with some assistance from our friends at Muck Rack.
First, via harsh but fair critic Farhad Manjoo, never underestimate the human race’s capacity to turn others’ misery into a marketing opportunity.
WTF this pitch! It’s basically: impending divorce has created opportunities for our company! pic.twitter.com/JsVYOqm2tX
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) August 24, 2015
Next, in the How Not to Send a Follow-Up category, it’s “Where’s your head at,” yo.
We know where our heads are currently at…they’re deep in the poultry manure.
Latest PR pitch on phone: “I wanted to speak to someone at the FT about poultry manure….”
— Chris Adams (@chrisadamsmkts) August 27, 2015
OK, but do those chickens need straw pellets for bedding?!
We don’t really understand the manure mentioned above, but we assume that someone like Matthew Campbell (who has covered many M&A moves for Bloomberg) might have a pretty good idea “what M&A is like.”
PR pitch of the month: ‘we have a client whose company has done a lot of M&A and can tell you what M&A is like. Would you be interested?’ — Matthew Campbell (@MattCampbel) August 27, 2015
Here’s a serious issue: how do you open a pitch to someone you’ve never worked with before? Should you write some generic pleasantries or get straight to the point?
Pro tip: If you send me a PR pitch that begins “I hope you are doing well,” I probably don’t know you and it probably goes in the trash. — David Martosko (@dmartosko) September 2, 2015
Next, does “bone-tingling warm” constitute “doing well?” And what does this product look like? We are both curious and frightened.
How good are you at sending flirty texts? For example, does your would-be date realize that the potato has retained its status as top vegetable?? Fascinating! Tell us more!
Every day is weird PR pitch day. ‘App tells you what to text back to your potential date’ and ‘Poll shows potato is the #1 vegetable’ — Melanie Pinola (@melaniepinola) August 18, 2015
Whatever message you do send to that romantic hopeful, it should probably not involve the word “ghosting.”
Just got a PR pitch using the words “ghosting” and “victimization” in the same sentence and no, just no. You got dumped. You’re not a victim
— Matt Lindner (@mattlindner) August 20, 2015
We do feel like victims, though, because we have yet to try the “tastiest” and “healthiest” water around. WHERE IS IT?!
“One of the healthiest waters around” is not a good PR pitch. Especially after “tastiest” didn’t work. — John Craven @ BevNET (@BevNETCraven) August 27, 2015
On a more “basic tips” note, if a contact has not specifically said that he/she is OK with pitches via text, Twitter mentions or late-night cold calls, you might want to reconsider using those strategies.
PR pitches via text message: Not cool, ese. Not cool.
— Carolina A. Miranda (@cmonstah) August 28, 2015
Sooooo, not making this personal, but please don’t PR pitch me on twitter.
— Rob Beschizza (@Beschizza) August 26, 2015
I wish part of working overnights didn’t involve getting woken up by cold PR pitch calls, but it is and now I’m awake. — Timothy J. Seppala (@timseppala) September 1, 2015
Now for our favorite topic: shameless self-promotion! We still very strongly believe that automation is usually not your friend. If you can’t even bother to personalize a pitch, then why the hell would you send it?
That’s a serious question, BTW.
But what if you’re not quite sure what a contact’s name might be or whether the morning is indeed good?!
From a PR pitch just now: “Good Morning Janko ?-” I assume its a macro gone wrong, but feels perfectly adequate on a Monday. — Janko Roettgers (@jank0) August 31, 2015
Next, a good example of why tech companies need at least SOME level of guidance when pitching their products. You should read the full post as it colorfully illustrates tech’s stubborn sexism problem…and why so many small companies really need PR.
Sexism is alive and well in tech, in this case even when it comes to PR pitches to journalists. http://t.co/fRk96jWdXu
— Katie McQuater (@KatieMcQuater) August 26, 2015
Finally, via Nellie Bowles of Re\code, we have a true masterpiece that we somehow missed in August.
This pitch makes an important point: no matter how much journalists (ourselves included) may like to kvetch about PR firms and their off-target pitches, the in-house promotion alternative can be so, so much worse.
Most of the direct app/startup pitches we receive are lame and badly targeted. This one, however, deserves praise for what may be the most appalling intro we have read all year.
Now have a great long weekend figuratively fondling your balls.