Pitch, Please: Journalists Sound Off on Media Relations

A collection of the week's best responses...to PR pitches.

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.

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.

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.”

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?

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!

Whatever message you do send to that romantic hopeful, it should probably not involve the word “ghosting.”

We do feel like victims, though, because we have yet to try the “tastiest” and “healthiest” water around. WHERE IS IT?!

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.

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?!

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.

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.

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: September 4, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/pitch-please-journalists-sound-off-on-media-relations-14/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT