Gini Dietrich

I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media

By: Gini Dietrich | February 11, 2013 | 
338

I hate PR people.

I can say that because I am one, but also because those of you who do blogger and media relations disappoint me.

Greatly.

It’s rare these days for me to go out with friends without hearing a story of how a PR person didn’t do their research or prepare their client for an interview before a blogger or “social media influencer” was approached.

In fact, it’s become a game to see who can tell me the worst story they’ve had of late. Their ultimate goal is to hear me yell, “I hate PR people!”

Unfortunately, it’s a refrain both friends and my Arment Dietrich team hear a lot.

The Auto Show

Take the Auto Show, for instance. A handful of social media influencers were invited as media to a dinner and the opening without an understanding of why they were there. From my purview, it looks like the PR people went to the Social Media Club website, downloaded a list of their former and current board members, and invited those people.

No research. No discussion about why each was invited. No review of whether or not they have blogs and if those blogs fit the client’s needs. No expectations set. No client preparation for the interviews. Nothing.

Not only did the bloggers/influencers not understand why they were there (though it sounds like they ¬†had a blast…and free dinner), the clients didn’t know who each of them were and were not prepared to answer specific questions about the blogger’s expertise or topic.

Event PR

I get it. I do. Your job is to get as many interviews during the show as you can. No one said they had to be good interviews or make sense for the client. As long as the interviews happened and your client was busy talking to many bloggers or journalists, the event is a perceived success.

Even better if all of those people write something, but I know you can’t guarantee that they will, so you don’t.

But it’s not just events. It’s daily pitching that is a disaster, too.

I know we’ve talked about this before and I also realize most of you who read this blog are not the offenders.

Perhaps you’ll either forward this to a friend or they’ll find it through search (but that also means they know they’re doing something wrong and want to fix it, which is a huuuuuge leap).

The Rules of Pitching

I’ve put together a list of seven things you must do when pitching a blogger or journalist, no matter if it’s for an event or a story you want us to cover.

  1. The online media directories, such as Cision and Vocus, are a starting point. They help you create lists easily and target effectively, but the services do not do the research for you.
  2. Do your freaking research. I get an email at least five times every day that has nothing to do with anything we cover here. One of my favorites of late? Someone wrote an article on Super Bowl advertising, sent it to hundreds of people in the “to” line (didn’t even BCC everyone) and invited all of us to run it. I guess that PR pro has never heard of Google Panda or duplicate content.
  3. Go online. It used to be that we would get out the big, green Bacon’s books, copy a list of people, and then either subscribe to the magazines and newspapers or go to the library and check them out to do research. I remember how exciting it was when everything went online. No more hours of research. But no one uses the Internet. Every, single blog has an “about” page, which typically includes what they write about and how to pitch them. READ THAT.
  4. Stop the spam. I swear if I get one more email that doesn’t have an unsubscribe button, the poor PR pro on the other end is going to have the wrath of hundreds of poor email pitches built up over time.
  5. Stop emailing me multiple times. If I don’t respond, I am not interested. You forwarding your previous email to me, to show me how many times you’ve sent it to me without response is not charming or enduring. I get hundreds of emails a day. If I want to do something with yours, you will hear from me or Lindsay Bell. If it’s not well-researched and the pitch isn’t relevant to us, I will delete it without responding. Don’t contact me again.
  6. If I tell you no, don’t contact Lindsay. And vice versa. Sometimes I’ll tell you no because the story isn’t interesting to us or because you want it to run tomorrow and we don’t have space for it. Lindsay has this blog running like a machine. Think of it as a trade magazine. We are a good six weeks out with our blog schedule. Unless it’s how Beyonce’s PR people royally screwed up, we’re not going to push something to make room for your five tips on search engine optimization. So don’t go running to Lindsay to beg her to run it, after I told you no.
  7. For the love of all things great, don’t call me out on Twitter for not responding to your email. My not responding is me being nice. If you get a response from me, either I’m interested or I’m fed up and you are the straw that broke the camel’s back. I’m much nicer than some of my peers. Some will email you and shame you…which is hilarious to all of us that are BCC’d, but not hilarious to you.
As Mitch Joel always says, “If the pitch is relevant to me, it works 100 percent of the time.” Wouldn’t you rather follow the steps above, create a really relevant pitch, send it to only 20 people and have all of them run something¬†instead of sending the same, exact pitch to 2,000 people and have no one run it?

P.S. Everyone wish Lindsay a very happy birthday!

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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338 Comments on "I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media"

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HayleyToothill
HayleyToothill
3 years 2 months ago

@benjohnston429 @spinsucks Not all PRs are this bad (but lots of them are)!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@HayleyToothill No, not all of them are, but 99.9% of the pitches I receive are…the others are people who build relationships first.

HayleyToothill
HayleyToothill
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Not many PR’s are very social-minded. A good PR should understand the World of blogging from both sides of the fence :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@HayleyToothill TOTALLY agree! And then use that to pitch journalists, too

jasonkonopinski
3 years 2 months ago

Angry Gini is funny.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@jasonkonopinski And this was after I calmed down.

jasonkonopinski
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†I need to start a Tumblr of all the crummy pitches I get. They’re quite comical. ūüėÄ

HughAnderson
3 years 2 months ago

Oooh, punchy start to the week, I like it. What being a year older does to someone :) Happy birthday Lindsay and you (belatedly).

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@HughAnderson¬†Thanks Hugh! It’s so frustrating. I feel like, when I get these pitches, just sending them links to blog posts like this.

HughAnderson
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†Send them to me. I’ll deal with them … one way or another … !!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@HughAnderson OK!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@HughAnderson Thanks Hugh!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@jesslaw Thanks Jess!

jesslaw
jesslaw
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich My pleasure! Have a great week, Gini!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

I consider this post to be my birthday present. Thank you SO MUCH for writing it.
 
Here’s a tip: always remember the 5 Ws – who, what, where, when and why. Before you pitch – think them through – they may not all fit, but surely one or two of them will help you focus and clarify if you’re barking up the wrong tree or not.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay Happy Birthday!

AmyVernon
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay¬†Happy birthday, chica! And @ginidietrich¬†, you just did everyone a favor by writing this, though as you noted, the people who most need it probably won’t realize it. Or pay attention. But *shakes fist*

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@AmyVernon  @ginidietrich Thanks Amy!!

amabaie
amabaie
3 years 2 months ago

Just one question.  Why would a PR email have an unsubscribe button?  One can on unsubscribe form something if one is subscribed on a list somewhere.  A PR pitch is not supposed to involve any subscription to any list.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@amabaie¬†The problem is many, many pitches are mass mailings. And they’re coming unsolicited most of the time. So they should be created in a software that provides an unsubscribe button. Otherwise I have to email you to say, “Take me off your list” and then you argue with me about why (not you, specifically). ¬†Mass pitches shouldn’t be sent to begin with, but when they are, use Constant Contact or MailChimp and provide an unsubscribe button.

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@amabaie¬†I don’t consider myself a PR person but I do blogger outreach. I don’t use a mass mail program but the when I initially reach out to someone on behalf of a client I let them know they can ask me not to contact them about *this* again, etc.

amabaie
amabaie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek¬†¬†@ginidietrich Maybe I’m naive, but I assume that any time I enter into a conversation with someone else, as soon as one person says they are not interested, the other person won’t be a bum and keep talking.

amabaie
amabaie
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Ah, that is the problem.¬† If they are created in a software program that just inserts a name and email address, then mass mailed, they ARE spam and it is not an “unsubscribe” button that is needed but a disconnect from the Internet.

allenmireles
3 years 2 months ago

Happy Birthday @belllindsay (may your day be filled with unicorns and rainbows and your very favorite beer!). @ginidietrich , well done. Needed to be said and hopefully to be heard.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@allenmireles  Do not let me forget to show you the card Mr. D gave me.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@allenmireles  @ginidietrich Thanks Allen!! No beer, but I might be getting a puppy!!

KenMueller
3 years 2 months ago

I’m gonna use Words With Friends as my new approach to pitches. I figure if you play with me, you can’t turn me down.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller¬†LOL! You can chat me your pitch. Let’s see what happens.

lauraclick
3 years 2 months ago

@KenMueller Excellent plan!

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
3 years 2 months ago

Have to love the Twitter approach, since you didn’t respond anywhere else I am going to stand outside your cyberoffice and scream at you.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes It happens all the time to me. Do they do that to you, too?

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes¬†Calling someone out on Twitter has to be one of the worst things I’ve seen/heard. It makes the tweeter look like a jerk and the recipient uncomfortable. Is there a word for them, like paparazzi only for Twitter?

lauraclick
3 years 2 months ago

This is one of those things where you need to treat people like you want to be treated. It’s not hard. If you don’t want to receive spam, mass emails, irrelevant pitches or be pestered incessantly, why would the blogger or reporter you’re trying pitch?! Think, people!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@lauraclick¬†I think the problem is most aren’t using social media or blogging personally so they don’t really understand it. They’re just going through the motions, collecting their paychecks, and going home, where they really want to be. How many PRSA events have journalists talking about how to pitch them? And NO ONE LISTENS.

lauraclick
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†Totally. And maybe that’s why PR people should blog. It would help them realize what it’s like being on the other side of the coin.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@lauraclick I am a huge advocate of that.

jeanniecw
3 years 2 months ago

I’m starting to get random pitches via the web site. Me. I’m not in PR. I don’t write product reviews. It’s silly.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@jeanniecw I would blow my top. You should start responding with links to blog posts like this. Actually, *I* might do that.

ecokaren
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†You just put down everything I think of when I read the brainless pitches in my inbox. Brilliant. I’m making a canned response with this link. Thanks.

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@ecokaren¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†I have a canned response and it still doesn’t help. I only blogged once in 2012 and I received pitches daily. Granted I still had 12K visits/month but it was pretty obvious they hadn’t read my blog first.

lauraclick
3 years 2 months ago

Oh, and happy birthday, @belllindsay ! Hope it is a good one! 
 
You guys practically have a week-long celebration with you and @ginidietrich having back-to-back birthdays!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@lauraclick¬†¬†@belllindsay¬†And martinwaxman¬†is tomorrow. We’re finding ways to keep it going all week.

lauraclick
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich  @belllindsay  martinwaxman Wow! That sounds like some party! Have fun! :)

Shonali
3 years 2 months ago

@lauraclick¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†¬†@belllindsay¬† I didn’t realize it was¬†martinwaxman¬†birthday tomorrow – cool! I’ll be seeing him tonight, so I can wish him in advance. :) And happy birthday, @belllindsay¬†!

martinwaxman
3 years 2 months ago

@lauraclick¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†¬†@belllindsay¬†We are… I’d like to extend it to the entire month… Oh and great tips about the pitches – the principles are simple – if PR folks would do their homework and not spray and pray…

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@martinwaxman¬†¬†@lauraclick¬†¬†@ginidietrich¬†It’s all about February BABIES!!! ūüėÄ

TonyBennett
3 years 2 months ago

I hate superheroes…. but I LOVED this post. You were at your sarcastic, ranting best and I ate up every word of it. I’ve always maintained that pitching is an art, not a science, but I would highly recommend integrating your scientific formulas.
Oh and happy birthday you hammerhead you

Harriettftf6dn
Harriettftf6dn
3 years 2 months ago

@jodykoehler http://t.co/McfapAnD

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
3 years 2 months ago

“Do your freaking research”….LOL x 100! That is all….

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@ElissaFreeman So simple.

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay¬†¬†@ElissaFreeman¬†So simple, yet so many people don’t do their research and that goes for some of the self-proclaimed influencer experts too. No, I’m not kidding. :(

missfish
missfish
3 years 2 months ago

@elissapr @spinsucks Best line: “If the pitch is relevant to me, it works 100 percent of the time.” #TRUTH

ryancox
3 years 2 months ago

“I don’t like your pitch, but if I did, I’d choose Dos Equis. Stay thirsty my friend.” <—-If I got pitched, this is the email I’d respond with. The thing I don’t get about PR people (I’m not one) is that it makes sense to me that a good 5 pitches would net more than a poor 10. And the ratio is > for the smaller good than the < bad.

ClayMorgan
3 years 2 months ago
One of the worst parts of my job is dealing with PR pitches. It is also one of the best parts of my job because occasionally we do get an awesome story that just nails it from us. ¬† Here’s what’s funny/sad/ironic all wrapped up in one: I’ve learned it isn’t always the PR person, but the entire agency.¬† I’ve had enough dealings with enough people at certain specific agencies that I just don’t answer the phone or open their emails anymore. And this is after I’ve explained (often more than once) what I’m looking for. ¬† Then there are… Read more »
ladylaff
ladylaff
3 years 2 months ago
I’ve been working in PR for 22 years and part of the problem is that the hardest part of our job – pitching – is always left to junior people who may be smart but lack the industry experience, business experience, life experience and emotional intelligence at that stage of their careers to develop an intelligent proposal. Senior people to ensure that the infractions laid out in this blog never happen. I have read and taken seriously a lot of these types of blog / rants and even recently took a course from an experienced business/tech journalist on how to… Read more »
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

Why do so many intelligent people lack common sense when it comes to blogger relations?

ryancox
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek laziness. plain and simple. spray & pray

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@ryancox¬†It goes even deeper than that. I find many people who are comfortable and successful at media relations are afraid of developing relationships with bloggers. Maybe that’s not a bad thing for people like me because it helps pay the bills. ūüėČ

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek¬†I don’t know. I feel like we’re easier to pitch. I don’t get it.

HeatherTweedy
3 years 2 months ago
I want to send this to every client that we work with. ¬†That way when they can finally understand why it takes time to create a perfect press list, but it’s worth it! ¬†I’m with @ladylaff¬†, too often junior employees end up creating lists and pitching and they simply don’t know how to do it right. ¬†It ends up being a cycle as those kids think “I can’t wait until I move up and don’t have to pitch anymore.”¬† ¬† I can’t even believe that people call you out on Twitter. ¬†Do they think that you’re going to feel such… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@HeatherTweedy¬† You’re exactly right…media relations is ALWAYS delegated to junior-level staff. It’s how you cut your teeth. What gets me is when I get a terribly researched pitch from a VP. That’s when I go ballistic.
 
I JUST got called out on Twitter on Thursday. I should have screen grabbed it. I responded with something so sickeningly nice, it almost made me puke.

mylefttom
mylefttom
3 years 2 months ago

Happy birthday Lindsay!
 
And this reminded me of a time when I was schooled by a CEO, who insisted that I create and pitch a release about our adding a bunch of cubicles (actually just rearranging a few and using some spare parts) to the office. Despite a full year of pitching releases about major business partnerships, new software launches, and huge customer wins, this stupid release about cubicles won by far the most favor with local and regional media.
 
I have yet to figure that one out.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@mylefttom¬†Slow news day. ūüėČ

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@mylefttom Are you serious?!? WHY did they run that story?

dwaynealicie
3 years 2 months ago
Happy birthday ¬†@belllindsay¬†! ¬† I know this post was born out of much, much pain, but I hope it helps to know that the jabs dropped my jaw and made me laugh like a crazy person on BART this morning. ¬† It’s shocking how many of these stories I hear, especially since PR is so competitive and the number one rule I have ever learned about pitching is to do your research and make it relevant …. if you haven’t been able to strike up and maintain a relationship beforehand! ¬† Here’s a question — what does it take for… Read more »
belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@dwaynealicie¬†Owning up to it and apologizing. I think that goes a long way to make up for anything. And thanks! ūüėÄ

dwaynealicie
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay Sincere apologies always go the distance, right? See: unhappy-customer-turned-biggest-brand-advocate model, perhaps?
 
I hope the next year brings you everything you would like from it!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@dwaynealicie¬†Thanks Dwayne, it sure can’t get any worse than the last couple I’ve had! LOL I’m hoping for much better things!

EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay¬†¬†@dwaynealicie¬†You’re familiar with the Bad Pitch Blog, right? You can always share your bad pitches with them and who knows, maybe they’ll blog about them. ūüėČ

dwaynealicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek¬†¬†@belllindsay¬†Fascinating head-shakers over there! Need to read more often…

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@dwaynealicie  I would have loved to see you laughing like a crazy person on BART this morning. LOL!!
 
I don’t know if they can ever recover…I suppose if they build a relationship with a journalist and then admit the wrongdoing, they can recover. For instance, if you pitched me on something and it was just wrong, I would tell you why, but I wouldn’t hold it against you.
 
It’s the people who, after my writing this today, sent me three emails about the same topic who can’t recover.

dwaynealicie
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Laughing like a crazy person is just one of my talents. I live for meta-laughter!
 
I may have to borrow the simple genius of “my not responding is me being nice” sometime.
 
And I see … the people who really need to learn these lessons aren’t listening; they’re oblivious to the fact that they are The Problem. This seems to be a recurring theme in life! I am 100% on board with putting the perps on blast.

coffeewithjulie
coffeewithjulie
3 years 2 months ago

Well, I’ve found the perfect content for the “Dear PR people” page on my blog! :)

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@coffeewithjulie Steal away!

GosiaAntkowski
GosiaAntkowski
3 years 2 months ago
Happy birthday Lindsay! ¬† Great post Gini. I’m in the same boat as you – a PR person but also a blogger. I see horrendous pitches. Pitches that have nothing to do with my blog, or that have a perhaps just a smidgen of information that might be of interest to me (maybe at most a tweet), but don’t warrant a full blog post.¬† ¬† I think the other thing to note in the rules of pitching is to share your information about bloggers/media with your colleagues (if you work at an agency). If they are making the same mistakes,… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@GosiaAntkowski¬†When I get pitches that make no sense for the blog, but it’s from a friend, I always offer to do something like a tweet or Facebook update on our business page. It sounds like you od the same?

jdogglederman
jdogglederman
3 years 2 months ago

@LisaPetrilli @ginidietrich great article. I always say make your pitch relevant, entertaining, and resonating.

ryancox
3 years 2 months ago

Why not start a public call-out ‘sheet’ @ginidietrich¬†? You could amass a list, and other professionals (you trust) could add people to the list. If PR pro’s/companies were smart, they’d do everything they could to stay *OFF* that list, because it’s a Internet-facing call out sheet that their bosses (or a good boss) wouldn’t want to see them or their companies name on.¬†
 
Or has that been attempted and unsuccessful?

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@ryancox¬†We’ve talked about it before, but it’s not my thing. I don’t want to call people out. It feels mean-spirited to me. I’d rather teach and mentor…even if it means it takes longer to get through their heads.

momtrends
momtrends
3 years 2 months ago

Great tips.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@momtrends Thanks!

LouHoffman
LouHoffman
3 years 2 months ago
Love the “Rules of Pitching.” ¬† One more variable to throw into the mix is called the client. ¬† I think David Ogilvy had a line to the effect that “clients get the advertising they deserve,” meaning if they micro manage process they get mediocre ads and if they let the pros do their job they get great stuff. ¬† You could apply the same concept to PR. ¬† Don’t get me wrong. Nothing excuses the damning anecdotes you shared in your post. ¬† But an ignorant client can definitely cause the wrong gravitational pull. We just went through a… Read more »
LouHoffman
LouHoffman
3 years 2 months ago

Oh, and happy birthday Lindsay!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@LouHoffman¬†Man, that Ogilvy guy sure was smart. ūüėČ

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@LouHoffman¬†I don’t disagree one bit… but if you have to pitch something the client requires, I’m pretty sure you can find a handful of people, when pitched correctly, will run the story.
 
How’d you do on the 40 deliverable?

LouHoffman
LouHoffman
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich I was afraid you might ask that question. We did secure 40+ interviews. One month later, we resigned the account, a happy ending from my perspective.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@LouHoffman¬†That’s the same thing we would have done.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 2 months ago
I enjoy a good sports analogy. So when you think about pitching and baseball, you realize that a successful pitcher can not only visualize his target (home plate) but knows his audience (in this case, the batter). He literally designs his pitch for the person standing in front of him. He wants the guy to whiff, of course and a PR professional would prefer a home run, but the concept is the same. ¬† So whether you’re aiming for a blogger or a batter, you need to have a clear target in mind and customize your delivery for each individual.… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@magriebler LOVE THIS ANALOGY!!

MacLeanHeather
MacLeanHeather
3 years 2 months ago

I agree with your commentary Gini.  It comes don to lazy/sloppy PR work.  People are looking for shortcuts and making other PR people look bad in the process.  In this case one ( or a few bad apples) are spoiling it for the rest of us.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@MacLeanHeather¬†I suppose it’s the same in any industry, right? There are good pros and bad ones.

MacLeanHeather
MacLeanHeather
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Very true.  However, this industry seems to wear it more.

magriebler
magriebler
3 years 2 months ago

I almost forgot! Happy birthday, Lindsay!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@magriebler¬†ūüėÄ

spinchick
3 years 2 months ago

Great post Gini. I guess you’re not interested in the story about my earlobe. I should stop emailing you about it. And Tweeting. And LinkedIning (?). But it IS a nice earlobe….and it can help so many.¬† :) Have a great week!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@spinchick¬†Only because it’s YOUR earlobe am I interested.

JodiEchakowitz
JodiEchakowitz
3 years 2 months ago

In addition to getting PR folks to stop being lazy and do their research long before they hit the send button, more of them also need to learn how to push back on their clients and start getting them to think quality not quantity.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@JodiEchakowitz¬†Very good point! We’re lucky…our clients don’t want the news releases for the sake of having them.

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg
3 years 2 months ago

@JodiEchakowitz @SpinSucks I get some that email me 5 times; others ignore my requests because I’m not in the US. Some actually do it right

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg
3 years 2 months ago

@JodiEchakowitz @SpinSucks One was so clever, I actually wrote about the pitch. #pr
http://t.co/PBZHRGwp

JodiEchakowitz
JodiEchakowitz
3 years 2 months ago

@gadgetgreg Ha! Now if there were more clever ones out there, the PR industry would be perceived quite differently.

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg
3 years 2 months ago

@JodiEchakowitz So true, Jodi! This pitch was clever and real! It made a difference! Thanks for the great post! #pr

Alanapnwzq6db9
Alanapnwzq6db9
3 years 2 months ago
gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg
3 years 2 months ago
I hear you! As a freelancer, i write on various subjects, buts mostly about gadgets and consumer technology. ¬†I get some firms that email me 5 times or more times; others ignore me because I’m not in the US. In fact on one occasion, I ended up calling the cellphone listed in the email and got that person in their car. I was told that yes, they did get my emails & voicemail but reiterated their clients are in the US. ¬†Then she said. “If you really wanted to get a hold of me, you’d be persistent; you would and… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@gadgetgreg I love the subject line!

gvoakes
gvoakes
3 years 2 months ago

@AmyVernon @ginidietrich #2 was hilarious.

AmyVernon
AmyVernon
3 years 2 months ago

@gvoakes @ginidietrich :)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@gvoakes The part about the Super Bowl advertising article he wanted 100 of us to run?

gvoakes
gvoakes
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich Yeah, I feel like I’ve gotten a few of those emails as well.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@gvoakes Grumble, grumble

LeslieMcLellan
LeslieMcLellan
3 years 2 months ago

Awesome post Gini! It’s bookmarked and ready to share¬†(in a very nice, constructive way)¬†with those who don’t do their homework!!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@LeslieMcLellan¬†LOL! I hope you DO share it with them. I’m about to do the same.

Slimfairview
Slimfairview
3 years 2 months ago

@Aujefferies Love the sinner, hate the sin. Everything is “media.” From the title of the books we read, to the ad on the side of a bus.

Nikki Little
3 years 2 months ago
With the enormous amounts of blog posts and articles that exist about how PR pros do pitching/relationship building wrong and how they SHOULD be doing it, you would think this problem would have ceased over the last year or two. But, it seems like it has stayed pretty consistent. ¬† I simply don’t understand WHY. Who is to blame? Partly the PR person, but what about the boss or manager? These PR pros must be getting poor guidance from somewhere. It infuriates me (as I know it does to many of us in this industry) that we are still having… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago
@Nikki Little¬†That’s the problem … the people who should be reading the blog posts, don’t. They likely don’t know they’re doing anything wrong. I met a young lady the other night who told me she worked for a woman whose bad pitch I used in blog post a couple of years ago. She told me, before I did that, they couldn’t get the boss to see how bad her media relations skills were and it took my blog post to get it in her head. I was kind of mortified I called the person out specifically, but I guess it… Read more »
Nikki Little
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†Wow, crazy. It just boggles my mind that people still don’t get it and don’t recognize that their method is completely flawed.

stevenmcoyle
3 years 2 months ago

Happy Birthday Lindsay!!!
 
Great post Gini, sounds like you really needed to vent about this. I’m trying to get my director is understand you can’t write a press release like a graduate¬†thesis¬†paper and then email it to your entire contact list. I can completely relate to the “no research” part of this post.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@stevenmcoyle Cheers!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@stevenmcoyle¬†Please tell me your director isn’t a classically trained PR pro.

stevenmcoyle
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†She’s more of a marketing pro. I think she only issues press releases because they are “free”.

Cision NA
3 years 2 months ago

Ah, we always love ‘reminder’ posts :) This serves as a great read for novice and veterans alike. We’ll be sending this out on Twitter as a gentle reminder that in the case of pitching, slow and steady (and researched!) wins the race.¬†
 
Hope all is well! And happy birthday to Lindsay!
Best,
Lisa

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Cision NA¬†Thanks, Lisa! You guys serve as a great starting point…but it’s not meant to do all of the work necessary.

Cision NA
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†Yes, we work best when paired with a PR pro’s knowledge/research of the subject and can team to be a power couple if used well :) We do offer lengthy profiles on a lot of journalists that list their preferences, topic coverage, etc., but it takes time to read those notes as well.
 
Either way, great tips – we’re thankful to pass them on! Here’s to the betterment of the industry :)

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Cision NA And you allow edits and adds to the profiles, which is really helpful, if people use them!

Cision NA
3 years 2 months ago
@ginidietrich¬†Yes, this is very true – we have to allow time to learn about & properly use tools so they make us better & more productive … says the girl who has had the Evernote app on her phone for MONTHS but hasn’t started using it ¬† Really, I think it comes down to prioritizing and making time for learning things that will help us in the most important areas of our lives. I personally think career is one of those Top areas and your passion shows that you do, too! We can only hope others follow suit and decide… Read more »
ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Cision NA¬†LOL! Use the Evernote app! You’ll be mad you didn’t use it sooner!

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@Cision NA¬†Thanks! ūüėÄ

KearneyBrian
KearneyBrian
3 years 2 months ago

RT @cision: To avoid any pitching faux pas, read @ginidietrich’s The Rules of Pitching: http://t.co/s2bpY1i3 #PR #MediaRelations

PattiRoseKnight
PattiRoseKnight
3 years 2 months ago

Don’t get me started…#5 is my pet peeve. There better be an “unsubscribe” button and it would be refreshing if it actually WORKED. ¬†One day I decided to unsubscribe to many of the vendors I use periodically (i.e. 1800FLOWERS, Toys R Us, etc.) and I believe that caused them to grow and grow and grow. Sorry by you got me started !!!

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@PattiRoseKnight¬†OMG! Mr. D posted on the 1800FLOWERS FB wall yesterday asking how many times he has to unsubscribe before he’s taken off the list. They responded by asking for his email address and saying they’d handle it. I guess unsubscribe doesn’t work for them.

MikeSchaffer
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich¬†¬†@PattiRoseKnight You can’t spell “unsubscribe” without “subscribe!” Winner!

Danny Brown
3 years 2 months ago

#5 is my favourite. Piss off already.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Danny Brown And get off my lawn.

Carmelo
3 years 2 months ago

@belllindsay¬†Wow, another year younger, smarter, and more beautiful … happy birthday Lindsay! :-) Pouring you your favourite drink.

belllindsay
belllindsay
3 years 2 months ago

@Carmelo Awwwwww, that made my day Carm, thanks! :)

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Carmelo Um, my birthday was yesterday. @belllindsay

Carmelo
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich  @belllindsay What?!?!? Where the heck was I? Happy Late Birthday Wish Gini! Gee, I knew there was something special about yesterday. 
 
Your birthday gift¬ … I just need to know your size! Spring is just around the corner, Gini.

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@Carmelo  Those are GORGEOUS!

Carmelo
3 years 2 months ago

@ginidietrich They will look great on you! And probably up your effectiveness 2x or more. Glad you like them!

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie @spinsucks People still do that stuff. You should see what comes into my inbox and/or the strange pitches I get in other channels.

dalicie
dalicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek @SpinSucks Blows my mind! I’m not practicing full-time yet — still in school — but these stories shock me. Do you ignore them?

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie @spinsucks Most of them. Sometimes I’ll respond if they’re really dumb. I use an auto-responder but they ignore the message.

dalicie
dalicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek I have also heard stories about angry calls from PR people when the final piece wasn’t what they wanted … <smh>

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie I’ve only had one incident like that – it was actually to remove someone’s name – it came six months after the post was life. Ugh!

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie On the consulting side, I wouldn’t call a blogger nor advise a client to call to complain about earned media.

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie I had one situation with a sponsored post. The blogger didn’t entirely hold up his end of the bargain but it was better let it go.

dalicie
dalicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek It seems that situations like that could be handled tactfully. Of course, that seems to be asking a lot in today’s world!

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie Agreed. Every situation is unique. When there’s an agreement and money changes hands the rules are somewhat different.

dalicie
dalicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek Ah, Money Changes Everything, doesn’t it? Didn’t Cyndi Lauper sing that in the 80s?

EdenSpodek
EdenSpodek
3 years 2 months ago

@dalicie Yes, it does and you’re aging us. ūüėČ

dalicie
dalicie
3 years 2 months ago

@EdenSpodek Ha! I must also confess that I celebrated New Year’s Eve this year …. by watching The Goonies. Yep! It has come to that.

mitchjoel
mitchjoel
3 years 2 months ago

I wrote this a way’s back… I know we’ve spoken about it but I think it echoes the sentiment:¬†http://www.twistimage.com/blog/archives/attention-pr-people-heres-how-to-pitch-a-writer/ (I may be a little harsher than you are ūüėČ

ginidietrich
3 years 2 months ago

@mitchjoel A-freaking-men!

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