Gini Dietrich

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

By: Gini Dietrich | February 11, 2013 | 

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.


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. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • HayleyToothill

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

    • ginidietrich

      @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

        @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

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

  • Angry Gini is funny.

    • @jasonkonopinski And this was after I calmed down.

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

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

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

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

    • belllindsay

      @HughAnderson Thanks Hugh!

  • ginidietrich

    @jesslaw Thanks Jess!

    • jesslaw

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

  • belllindsay

    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.

    • @belllindsay Happy Birthday!

    • @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

        @AmyVernon  @ginidietrich Thanks Amy!!

  • amabaie

    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.

    • @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.

      • @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

          @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

        @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.

  • 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.

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

    • belllindsay

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

  • 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.

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

    • @KenMueller Excellent plan!

  • 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.

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

      • @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?

  • 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!

    • @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.

      • @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.

  • 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.

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

      • @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.

        • @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.

  • 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!

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

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  martinwaxman Wow! That sounds like some party! Have fun! 🙂

        • @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 !

        • @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

          @martinwaxman  @lauraclick  @ginidietrich It’s all about February BABIES!!! 😀

  • 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


  • ElissaFreeman

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

    • belllindsay

      @ElissaFreeman So simple.

      • @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

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

  • “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.

  • 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 the others – I can’t move fast enough to answer the phone.
    The irony is that with today’s slimmed down newsrooms, a good PR person is in a position to be a hero and obtain significant coverage… if they’re smart about it.

  • ladylaff

    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 write better pitches. One piece of advice he gave to ensure a very high success rate was to spend at least 2 hours researching each one. I have found that is about the right amount of time, especially if you’re trying to pitch something speculatively that’s not in response to a listed opportunity and ensure that you have the resources available to really follow the idea through. However after two hours of obvious labour tailoring a pitch to an individual with an offer of exclusive content, I do need to know definitively whether or not it has been accepted or if I should go back to the drawing board and tailor it to another publication. I don’t want to offer another publication the same exclusive content only to get an e-mail from a journalist a week later saying “yes, I’d like to do something with that.” At the same time, I can’t give everyone a week to respond or nothing will get done.  Journalists and bloggers are busy, so I would recommend developing some kind of code system to reject well-crafted pitches that only takes a second, like ‘NI’ for not interested.

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

    • @EdenSpodek laziness. plain and simple. spray & pray

      • @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. 😉

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

  • 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 immense shame for ignoring them that you’ll immediately move their piece to the top of the list?!  Perhaps with a follow-up video apology complete with sack cloth.  Holy Smokes.

    • @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

    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

      @mylefttom Slow news day. 😉

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

  • 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 a PR person to recover from such a mistake?

    • belllindsay

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

      • @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

          @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!

        • @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. 😉

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

    • @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.

      • @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

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

  • GosiaAntkowski

    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, it just makes the whole company look bad.

    • @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

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

  • 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?

    • @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

    Great tips.

  • LouHoffman

    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 situation at CES in which the client only cared about one thing, 40 interviews. That’s what he promised the Board and that’s what the Agency needed to deliver. Crazy. Not one word about generating coverage and cultivating relationships with the right influencers.

    • LouHoffman

      Oh, and happy birthday Lindsay!

      • belllindsay

        @LouHoffman Man, that Ogilvy guy sure was smart. 😉

    • @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

        @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.

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

  • magriebler

    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. Otherwise, it’s not really a pitch at all. It’s a hot mess.

  • MacLeanHeather

    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.

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

      • MacLeanHeather

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

  • magriebler

    I almost forgot! Happy birthday, Lindsay!

    • belllindsay

      @magriebler 😀

  • 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!

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

  • JodiEchakowitz

    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.

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

  • gadgetgreg

    @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

    @JodiEchakowitz @SpinSucks One was so clever, I actually wrote about the pitch. #pr

    • JodiEchakowitz

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

      • gadgetgreg

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

  • Alanapnwzq6db9
  • gadgetgreg

    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 you did!”  Wait, who is trying to pitch who? Blog readership has no geographic boundaries. Must have been a new concept to her.  
    On other hand, I did have another company actually go out of their way to help connect me with their Canadian counterpart who could help me.
    Recently I did get a pitch that really piqued my attention. The subject line was:
    “Tis the season to be single & selfish – treat yourself with the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day” 
    I thought it  was so clever, I actually wrote about the pitch itself. …

  • gvoakes

    @AmyVernon @ginidietrich #2 was hilarious.

    • AmyVernon

      @gvoakes @ginidietrich 🙂

    • ginidietrich

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

      • gvoakes

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

        • ginidietrich

          @gvoakes Grumble, grumble

  • LeslieMcLellan

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

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

  • Slimfairview

    @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.

  • 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 these same conversations.
    That’s why I’m so passionate about initiatives like Help a PR Pro Out (HAPPO). I feel like we can’t complain about the problem unless we’re doing something to provide education on the topic (like you do in this post). I just don’t know what it will take to make these issues go away!

    • @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 helped the people who worked for her.

      • @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.

  • 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

      @stevenmcoyle Cheers!

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

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

  • 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!

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

      • @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 🙂

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

        • @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 quality matters more than quantity.
          Have a great night, Gini! REALLY enjoyed this post. Talk soon!

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

    • belllindsay

      @Cision NA Thanks! 😀

  • KearneyBrian

    RT @cision: To avoid any pitching faux pas, read @ginidietrich’s The Rules of Pitching: #PR #MediaRelations

  • PattiRoseKnight

    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 !!!

    • @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.

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

  • #5 is my favourite. Piss off already.

  • @belllindsay Wow, another year younger, smarter, and more beautiful … happy birthday Lindsay! 🙂 Pouring you your favourite drink.

    • belllindsay

      @Carmelo Awwwwww, that made my day Carm, thanks! 🙂

    • @Carmelo Um, my birthday was yesterday. @belllindsay

      • @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.

        • @Carmelo  Those are GORGEOUS!

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

  • EdenSpodek

    @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

      @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

        @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

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

        • EdenSpodek

          @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

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

        • EdenSpodek

          @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

          @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

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

        • dalicie

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

        • EdenSpodek

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

        • dalicie

          @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

    I wrote this a way’s back… I know we’ve spoken about it but I think it echoes the sentiment: (I may be a little harsher than you are 😉

  • Oh, Gini Dietrich , you are so brilliant! I’m gonna share this with all my blogger friends who have all these frustrations. It’s so nice to see this from someone in PR.
    Happy birthday, Lindsay!!

    • belllindsay

      @Karen_C_Wilson  Gini Dietrich Thanks Karen!

    • @Karen_C_Wilson  I seriously yell, “I hate PR people” when my friends tell me stories. It’s become a game to see if they can get it out of me now. Grumble, grumble.

  • iamvictoriarae

    Hey, peak at these #tips RT @cision: To avoid any pitching faux pas, read @ginidietrich’s The Rules of Pitching: #PR

  • Like x 1000!
    I only wish you had done a video so we could see your eyes roll …
    (Happy Birthday, Lindsay!)

    • belllindsay

      @kateupdates 😀

    • @kateupdates LOL!! I am on a tear right now. Maybe I WILL do a video!

  • KevinVandever

    I experience # 5 all the time. Sometimes it’s a forward of their original email, or an email following up a voice mail message, or sometimes I even receive an initial email with re: in front of the subject to make me think they’re replying to a request from me. In the words of @Danny Brown (who’s inspired me a couple times recently), Piss off already!

    • @KevinVandever I got a pitch the other day on behalf of a digital marketing agency, and how social media is becoming so important to business, and would I like to speak with the two founders to see how their expertise could help me.
      Did they not read my effin’ About Page, and see I already am part of a consultancy that offers digital education and more? GAHHHH!!!
      So I copy-pasted the email and attached news release and replaced it with our details instead, and sent back. Look forward to hearing from the PR gal on that. 😉

      • KevinVandever

        @Danny Brown Awesome! That’s a double hit, #5 and #2 from Gini’s list. I love when I receive offers to help with our Oracle ERP consulting needs. Funny thing is, WE ARE NOT AN ORACLE ERP shop. Or, when I receive email/phone requests from a vendor for a specific software tool of which we are already a customer and a user of said tool. I should go ahead and except a meeting, let them come into my office, do their song and dance, and then let them know we are already a customer and user of their tool.

        • @KevinVandever  @Danny I really, really wanted to mention you in #7, Danny.

    • @KevinVandever OMG! Yes, the “re” is NUTS! People.

  • teewilts

    @mikeschaffer @spinsucks I once got a fax from the EPA.

  • CarolynMaeKim

    @kamichat @ginidietrich Interesting article! Thanks for sharing!

  • Pingback: Marketing Day: February 11, 2013()

  • poiseinparma

    @ADHicken ha, YES. I wish there was a mention about time frame. Not giving me enough time = biggest pet peeve.

  • When I get these pitches, I just give them your email. Maybe that’s part of your problem.  
    But seriously, great points. These spam approaches really do nothing but increase the noise. I truly wonder what the response rate is to these things? Do they produce any return at all for the spammers?
    Btw, Happy Birthday @belllindsay did you just turn 27 like Gini?

    • @Adam | Customer Experience  I just turned 31. Lindsay turned 36.

  • ginidietrich

    @SuperheroSM LOL!

  • ginidietrich

    @aderojas Thanks!

  • ginidietrich

    @HelenKitchen_PR I’m fed up!

    • HelenKitchen_PR

      @ginidietrich Same old, same old? Some things never change… still have to keep trying tho 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        @HelenKitchen_PR I know..still so frustrating.

        • HelenKitchen_PR

          @ginidietrich But please don’t give up… :)))

  • ginidietrich

    @ljcrest xoxo

  • ginidietrich

    @jkcallas Were your ears burning today?? @belllindsay

    • jkcallas

      @ginidietrich @belllindsay indeed so now we really need to connect lol I am a flight away from home xoxo

      • belllindsay

        @jkcallas I’ll be emailing you today sir! 😀 @ginidietrich

  • ginidietrich

    @giesencreative Thanks Jack!

  • ginidietrich

    @LisaPetrilli xoxo

  • ginidietrich

    @MargieClayman Yes, they should!

    • MargieClayman

      @ginidietrich I knew you’d agree with that 😀

  • ginidietrich

    @LouHoffman The proverbial straw broke

  • ginidietrich

    @susancellura Thanks Susan!

  • ginidietrich

    @adamtoporek Or because I have a big mouth

    • adamtoporek

      @ginidietrich well yeah, if you want to go with the obvious

  • ginidietrich

    @dintersection Thanks!

  • ginidietrich

    @karirippetoe Thanks Kari!

    • karirippetoe

      @ginidietrich You’re very welcome! Really amazing how many times the basic rules & best practices of pitching have to be repeated.

  • ginidietrich

    @ShortStackLab It’s a touchy subject

  • ginidietrich

    @karimacatherine As my mom would say…some people’s children

  • ginidietrich

    @cision 🙂

    • cision

      @ginidietrich Enjoy your evening! Don’t get blown over by this Chicago wind 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        @cision You either!

  • ginidietrich

    @akeats Thanks Adam!

  • ginidietrich

    @ldiomede You heard me exclaim that a couple of weeks ago

    • ldiomede

      @ginidietrich Amen to that!

  • ginidietrich

    @Mom101 Thanks Liz!

  • ginidietrich

    @Melanie_Cara Not at all, but when you get hundreds of emails a day, it’s hard. Plus, some people will argue with you. Don’t care for that

    • Melanie_Cara

      @ginidietrich Thanks for the response and follow 🙂 I totally get it and appreciate the insight.

      • ginidietrich

        @Melanie_Cara My pleasure!

  • GarlandWalton

    I had no idea #5 was so offensive. I’ve done it before as I assume everyone is getting too many emails to see every single one and often/sometimes misses one or two or ten (like I do). (Seems I need a lesson in how to read emails faster.) Me: “I’m being helpful!” Journalist: “Unbelievable!” Thanks for schooling me. Will be sharing around so other nonprofit comms hacks don’t make my mistakes.

    • @GarlandWalton LOL! Maybe I’m the only person who finds that extremely irritating. I suppose if you’re not an “inbox zero” person like me, it’s probably less irritating. Now you know that about me so, if you were ever to pitch this blog, you’d know the no response meant not interested.

      • _themaven

        @ginidietrich  @GarlandWalton You aren’t! I’ve had the same “interesting article not related to my blog at all” sent to me 3-4 times in a 7 day period. Enough is enough.

        • GarlandWalton

          @_themaven  @ginidietrich I promise I’ve never been that irritating…my window is usually a week as many folks I know go back through their emails on weekends or Mondays to see what they missed. Four times in a week is obscene.

      • GarlandWalton

        @ginidietrich  @GarlandWalton Zero inbox in my dreams! I’m sure you’re not the only one who find it irritating–and not being irritating is my version of community service. Now I’m going to ask the journalists I work with (and those I want to start a relationship with) how they view it. (At least…I think I will…but maybe *that* is irritating? Or does it fall under “research”?)

        • @GarlandWalton I think that’s a GREAT idea! I would respond well to those types of questions if asked.

        • GarlandWalton

          @ginidietrich Fantastic–thank you!

  • _themaven

    My solution to PR reps (et al) who continuously spam my email box despite my no thank yous or unsubscribe requests (Especially when they don’t list an easy way to do so) get a report to the FCC for spam the third time I have to attempt to unsub. Harsh? Maybe? But I want to work with companies that value and respect my time.

    • @_themaven You know what? I don’t think that’s harsh at all. It’s not like you didn’t give them the chance two other times.

  • thepearlmic

    Thanks for this awesome, honest article. I am so glad that I found it before reaching out to other bloggers. By the way, I am a blogger myself.  Question:  I’d like to reach out to other bloggers/editors  to promote features on my blog. What email program do you recommend so I do not come off as a spammer? It must have the easy one-click unsubscribe button discussed in #4 that is compatible with gmail.

    • @thepearlmic If you’re using Gmail, rather than do a mass mailing, I’d write an email for each person. That way it’s individualized and personalized, which gives you a better chance for success.

      • _themaven

        @ginidietrich  @thepearlmic It’s this amazing thing, I use Outlook and I still manage to write personalized emails. It doesn’t have much to do with the platform you use, but about 10 seconds extra. You can simply have something about unsubscribing in your signature too. Maybe it’s not a fancy mail program, but it’s still effective. Of course, I try not to practice mass emailing as a rule.

        • @_themaven  @ginidietrich  @thepearlmic Exactly. It’s a little more effort to say “Hi _TheMaven,” and personalize it a tad.
          Everyone (who isn’t already, we may be preaching to the choir here) needs to realize that sometimes the reporter/editor/etc. won’t be interested. They may have a better source, lead, story idea and your client just isn’t going to fit in there.
          Sometimes, we’re just not going to get that story in USA Today, Slate, HypeBeast, CoolHunting, etc.

        • @_themaven  @ginidietrich  @thepearlmic Totally agree with this. Unless someone has opted into a newsletter, there’s very little reason to ever send a mass email.
          And if you do, tone is huge….outside of work I send mass emails to around 150 people about local music / events and I always always start with one line that says “Hey there! I send this email about once a month but if you want out just reply with “Unsubscribe” in the subj and I’ll stop delivering cans of spam via email;)”
          The point I’m trying to make: these are HUMANS you are corresponding with. It’s a CONVERSATION, and if you don’t treat it as such, you’re going to turn them off and/or make them mad.
          When I feel someone took the courtesy to acknowledge this fact, and sent me a personal note (even if it’s just a line or two followed by pitch), 95% of the time I mark it for followup.

      • thepearlmic

        @ginidietrich  @thepearlmic Thanks for the tip! More simple than I thought.

  • Neillsa2qnvqsd
  • CarrieMcLaren

    @prville Awesome article. It is my life. Thanks for sharing!

  • Unfortunately this is pretty spot on. Part of that could be that at many top agencies, the pitching is left to less experienced staff who can smile and dial (or email) while the client relations and new business prospecting is handled by more senior team members.
    From my perspective, technology has made it easier to reach journalists, which makes it harder to cut through the clutter and get to them with a relevant story. It’s too easy to mass blast out a pitch, which leads to inbox clutter and the very good chance that a decent pitch or expert gets overlooked.
    I know it would be hard for many journalists to do, but when those that are friends of mine (or I at least have a good relationship with) tell me they’re not into a story or product and why, then I can tell my client verbatim for future reference. “Joe at the Mainstream Publication said he didn’t think our widget would be right for their August issue because….”.
    Of course, there are times journalists don’t make it easy for the PR people out there. I’ve received last minute interview requests or similar things late in the day (or on a Sunday) for things I pitched weeks or months ago, which could have been (from my perspective) handled in a more timely manner, but that’s par for the course with PR.
    At Remedy PR (blatant agency plug –, we try to use dating and friendship as ways to explain to others how we treat pitching. You reach out now and again about a story, but if someone doesn’t get back to you, they’re not interested. Similarly, you have to figure out what the potential date/friend is at least semi-interested in before you reach out. You wouldn’t invite someone who is vegan to a steakhouse, would you? Then don’t pitch the fashion editor of a major men’s magazine on a new type of tablet PC unless there’s a true fashion play there, not a stretch goal.
    That being said, I do blame the industry and to some extent, poorly developed resources and unchecked client expectations, for leading to these issues.

    • @Bill Byrne I remember being at the top of a run in Park City on Christmas day when a reporter from the NY Times called, wanting to talk to one of our clients. On Christmas. I said to her, “I am happy to help, but let me get to the bottom of this run first.” Such is the life of our jobs.
      I love the dating analogy, particularly as you train new professionals. We may steal that!

      • @ginidietrich I can totally relate. The alternative is telling your client you’re not in that story because you were ripping it up on the slopes (although I’m sure the time off was well deserved!).
        Technology has made the job easier and harder at the same time.

  • Thank you for saying what we’re all thinking and gossiping about! It’s so easy to connect with “influencers” with social media stalking. How can you possibly bother to send a canned pitch to someone who doesn’t cover your niche and then get mad when they don’t reply. Hello insanity!

    • @schmittastic It seems like common sense to us, but it’s not so common. The stories I hear from friends are ridiculous.

  • shariatPR

    @Tinu ahem!! You’re buying this #PRPerson a drink or twenty ’cause of that tweet! #SheReallyLovesMe

    • Tinu

      #EllyIsAwesome @shariatPR that was someone else’s tweet , I was just sharing. But yes, as many drinks as you want.

  • iStratBuzz

    @hannahdemilta thanks and glad you liked the blog.

  • iStratBuzz

    @dream2screen thanks 🙂

  • iStratBuzz

    Thanks @fahiraidris 🙂

  • lwrocks

    Interesting. RT @ShellyKramer: I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media

  • zaneology

    @RealPoshMom Sadly, even when PR reps follow those “orders” there are still be bloggers not achieving stellar results in brand performance.

  • zaneology

    @RealPoshMom Sadly, even when PR reps follow those “orders” there will still be bloggers not performing/achieving stellar results for brands

  • Pingback: Streamlining Blogger Outreach With Inkybee |

  • firstimpressi0n

    @PublicityGuru Gini Dietrich makes a good point Bill! Getting facts right is paramount in the #PR industry!

  • Team_Prescott

    .@PublicityGuru I once had a PD say,”you’re one of THOSE girls.” I replied, “if you mean the ones who give you your best stories, yes I am.”

  • maroc_o_phile

    @PublicityGuru We bloggers also need to be choosy and be more discerning and professional and not just take every free meal going 😉

  • Great post Gini (and thanks for the mention of Vocus). We totally agree that our mentioned media directory is a great starting off point, but it’s up to the user to get research done on their contacts and establish real relationships before they pitch.I honestly do like seeing these posts because it shows how bad pitches put PR pros in a negative light and we need to work harder to do the opposite.

    • @sacevero It makes me crazy when people use Vocus as their pitching tool. Yes, you should use it to create the list and to find journalists and bloggers you may not already know, but does not do the research for you, even with complete notes in there.

  • ginidietrich

    @Appinions I was just reading a @spinsucks guest post that has a nice mention of you (publishes later).

    • Appinions

      @ginidietrich @SpinSucks Really? We’re honored!

      • ginidietrich

        @Appinions Really!

  • SarahLothspeich

    @PublicityGuru Research is KEY and the most overlooked step in the PR world. I love your tips!! #PRMeeshandMia

  • groovygreenlivi

    @cindymeltz I want to read this!

    • cindymeltz

      @groovygreenlivi You will be nodding your head furiously.

  • Hi Gini,
    Sounds like good manners, etiquette and common sense all rolled into a neat package. I also remember getting out the big green Bacon’s books. According to Nick Kellet everyone loves lists and this is a good one. I have also coached the C staff on not going it alone with an interview and they thought they would be “fine.”  There is no off the record. You should have seen the opening quote for that interview. 🙂
    Susan Fox

    • @gagasgarden We could probably exchange some great stories! I have one of a client who was coached for three days and then brought up the subject he was not to talk about as he walked the journalist (from 60 Minutes, mind you) to the elevator.

  • HowieG

    Wow 240 comments! I thought the internet was on fire yesterday.
    Perfect example of why social media influence marketing fails 99.9% of the time. I bet they used Klout scores!
    I look at that blog post Chris Brogan did over the summer. He stayed at a resort for free and got totally wined and dined. Then he blogged about it. And he claimed ‘he wasn’t influenced by the resort nor was his post because of the free trip’ Uhm yeah right because his blog is filled with travel tips and he is an uber travel source unlike my friend cmonstah who helps write travel books for latin america.
    I run into this stuff a lot. I have people tell me they can do PR because they write press releases and then do a mass send. Which always works right?
    Don’t worry @ginidietrich i’m in advertising and you know I bash on 90% of the industry as client money sucking lampreys.

    • @HowieG  I love it when someone offers me something for free in exchange for a blog post…on topics we don’t cover. They’re always astounded when I turn them down. You mean you really don’t want a free whatever? Nope…not if it means I compromise what I cover here to use it.

  • cmonstah

    @howiegoldfarb 🙂

    • howiegoldfarb

      @cmonstah every so often I suck you into a marketing blog…or podcast ahem @mtlb @luckthelady

  • Is it too much to ask that someone actually care about the thing or co. they’re pitching?
    Not a rhetorical Q, would like to hear how people feel about this….

    • @JoeCardillo *I* don’t think it’s too much to ask UNLESS the client insists you pitch their new office space. No. One. Cares.

      • @ginidietrich  @JoeCardillo Yes but what if they switched the carpet from gray to mauve? That is the can’t miss story journalists are looking for =P

        • @JoeCardillo Crap. You’re right. I’m clearly not thinking of all the possibilities. Must open my mind.

  • DataMotion

    Great advice!! “@PublicityGuru: !?!? “I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media””

  • PR is hard because we rely on someone else (media) to do an aspect of our job. If you don’t do 2 or 3 though then you shouldn’t be in PR, no matter how long it takes you to do it. #4 is fueled a lot by #1 because it is so easy to get lots of emails that are perfect and on the boundary of potentially interested and hit them all at once. Almost everyone is guilty of this at least a few times – especially when your client thinks their news is “worthy” of press.
    But this all comes with the territory right? PR pros outnumber journalists/writers 4:1 so while we know you get hundreds of emails a day, it’s your job to go through them. On the event PR side, which is really an interesting space, I’m creating a platform to change all of the PR outreach – stay tuned!

    • _themaven

      @Trace_Cohen Sure, it’s my job, but don’t send me 2 or 3 followups to your pitch in the same 24 hour period, especially if it’s not time sensitive.

    • @Trace_Cohen I know you are…and I can’t wait to see it!

      • @ginidietrich  It’s done and CES already used it at this past show – sending you an update shortly 🙂

  • Just got another reason to *hate*. I was asked by a U.S.-based PR person if blogged about her client’s product because it’s hard to monitor and track Canadian blogs. Whaaaaat? Heaven help us all.

    • @EdenSpodek Um…does she not know how to use the search button on your blog?

  • Not surprised this has got ’em talking. I don’t rank on anyone’s totem pole, so I rarely get such baseless pitches – but sure they’d annoy if I did. IDK what else to add, what to say that ain’t been said already. Seriously, calling out on Twitter? WTH? And it’s funny to see what and how some of this actually is surprising.. like #5. I’ll have clients be all “Did you call/email the reporter (or blogger) again?! You need to email again!!” and I’m like “Hell no. They got the detailed pitch, then a time-sensitive reminder; that’s all your ‘grand opening’ gets .. and frankly, is more than needed/deserved.” 
    The problem w/ your solid media/blogger relations rules is that it requires work. Can’t have a bot do the research, can’t really staff it out to the intern, can’t automate it for $49.98/month. And all for ‘only 20’ changes of success vs. the ‘100s’ of publicity opps if you just spammed everyone w/ your not newsworthy, irrelevant crap. Real work, real time, real money – invest in real Public Relations. FWIW.

    • @3HatsComm It’s like anything else, right? You have to work hard to accomplish big things.

      • @ginidietrich  @3HatsComm “It’s like anything else” is pretty much my favorite phrase. True of almost anything in life, why people think you can skate through one area and not others is beyond me.

  • Pingback: PR People Pay Attention!!!! | GBM Laredo()

  • Pingback: Dunbar’s Number, Your Brain and Why Scaling Media Relations is a Bad Idea | PRBreakfastClub()

  • Pingback: SEO content marketing roundup, week ending February 13th()

  • sweeEkriti

    @timepass @SpinSucks This is really good. Thanks 🙂

    • timepass

      @sweeEkriti i agree, some very sound advice to stick with. @SpinSucks

      • sweeEkriti

        @timepass @SpinSucks This is really helpful.. and so are the comments that follow 🙂

  • Pingback: The river of pitches - SHIFT Communications PR Agency | Boston | New York | San Francisco()

  • ginidietrich

    @aliciakan xoxo

    • aliciakan

      @ginidietrich Please tell Lindsay happy birthday!

      • ginidietrich

        @belllindsay! @aliciakan says happy birthday!

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich @aliciakan LOL – thanks so much! 😀

  • giesencreative

    @ginidietrich Not enough RTs?

    • ginidietrich

      @giesencreative (I was being sarcastic)

      • giesencreative

        @ginidietrich 😀

  • Pingback: Dear PR Daily, Please Make Your Posts Mobile Friendly | Spot-On()

  • Yuricon

    @tonia_ries @ginidietrich Lack of basic research is what kills me. It’s so ridiculous when I get pitches for things way out of my purview.

    • ginidietrich

      @Yuricon Exactly!

      • Yuricon

        @ginidietrich ^_^

  • soundslikerhea

    @neilglassman @ginidietrich @SpinSucks Thanks! Definitely will keep this in mind!

  • Jevtich1

    @RockChristopher @GetBinkd @mistygirlph Huum! The “lawless internet” back in da day would say: “Summer Rules Mean No Rules.”

    • RockChristopher

      @jevtich1 smile … yes indeed way “back in the day” …

      • Jevtich1

        @RockChristopher Happy Wednesday (to complete the Rhyme conversation) #rhymetime

  • jyarbrough

    I enjoyed your post and can’t imagine anyone disagreeing with you that there is a significant portion of the PR industry (for lack of a better term) that has no business doing press outreach or representing any brand/client to the public for that matter. That said, the tips above are pretty much table stakes at this point. I have no doubt that if everyone followed those steps alone the collective reputation of PR people around the world would immediately see a boost and journalists would cry unicorn tears of joy as a result of hundreds fewer emails every day.
    But even more than improving email etiquette and doing basic research, the PR function (meaning all of us) really needs to get better at basic communication. Why does something matter, how is it relevant to the journalist’s beat, what is the opportunity being presented (journos don’t want to rewrite press releases; it’s a necessary evil but but they hate it). I’m not sure when it became acceptable to simply blast out bits of seemingly unrelated information and pray that something sticks, but the fact that most PR people lack a basic understanding of how to construct a story is sad and pathetic. 
    I’m not sure what the answer is, but it probably has something to do with agencies training better. A creative writing course here and there wouldn’t hurt either. Anyway, thanks for starting the discussion. Hopefully one day soon we’ll all be able to talk about how things have improved…

    • @jyarbrough A creative writing course sure wouldn’t hurt! I totally agree with you. I think the issue is that, for a gazillion years, everything stayed pretty much the same. In the past five years, the industry has completely been upended and most pros aren’t keeping up. Want to understand how to do blogger relations? Blog. Want to understand how to use social media to engage a group of loyal customers? Use it personally. Want to create a measurable program? Dig into analytics in your own time. Most people won’t go to these lengths so the industry is stagnant.

  • SusetLaboy

    @danperezfilms @ginidietrich Yes. The client/pr dynamic is key to preventing hateful pr. Somehow parlaying these rules to clients is key.

    • ginidietrich

      @SusetLaboy Which, of course, is sometimes easier said than done. But there are some things PR pros can do with not so good news

      • SusetLaboy

        @ginidietrich Indeed. And sometimes saying no to a client (no we can’t pitch x,y,z to x,y,z) is necessary. Good clients will understand.

  • colbaroo

    Now that’s blunt “@PublicityGuru: !?!? “I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media””

  • Canterucci

    @ChristianGAdams Clearly relevance isn’t common sense.

  • Happy birthday, Lindsay – looks like Gini should be kept from all sharp objects until her frustration dies down.
    Fun read, though. Glad I’m not in PR and repeatedly asking Gini to run content. And the “end around” generally sets up for a big loss versus big reward – in business and in football!

    • @dbvickery Think about this for your business, though. Do you ever have news to announce? Do you guys work with a PR pro? How ashamed would you be if you knew they were pitching your business to journalists and media in this way? It’s not good.

      • @ginidietrich Ashamed and embarrassed – absolutely.

  • gunshotdigital

    @dbvickery @ginidietrich I think they’re pretty smart they are the only ones I can get away without showing actual analytics..:-)

    • dbvickery

      @gunshotdigital @ginidietrich Yikes 😉

  • iStratBuzz

    @djfrankieee thanks 🙂

    • DJFrankieee

      @iStratBuzz You’re quite welcome!! =)

  • AmantMystere

    @yossoura and i hate you too…

    • yossoura

      @AmantMystere LOL lis l’article avant de dire ça

  • ginidietrich

    @writingrenee I’m a smart butt (as my mom would say)

    • writingrenee

      @ginidietrich Haha, those rules need to sink in, though! I share those same sentiments on a pretty much daily basis 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        @writingrenee It’s so frustrating, isn’t it?!?

        • writingrenee

          @ginidietrich Totally. I wrote a similar post trying to convey “if you wouldn’t do it on your site, don’t do it here!” But alas. People. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @writingrenee People is right! LOL!

  • brasker

    I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media via @samfiorella “do your freaking research”

    • samfiorella

      @brasker What? Doesn’t blogging = no research required? Or “attributing Wikipedia is research enough?” #pr

      • brasker

        @samfiorella you also don’t give your sales a lead outside of your target market, same for approaching influencers and bloggers

  • ginidietrich

    @stephanies Based on my inbox this week, no…they don’t.

    • stephanies

      @ginidietrich It’s so sad. But bloggers who do nothing but reviews & giveaways foster bad PR pitches, too.

      • ginidietrich

        @stephanies I suppose. But you still should do your research. I know blogging has taught me so much about media relations.

  • fluxresearch

    @wesdavenport @courtenayrogers Hasn’t been so bad for me except for the lack of research.

  • fluxresearch

    @wesdavenport @courtenayrogers At this point I’ve often been covering companies way before they hired their current publicists.

  • Pingback: Response to “I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching” | Quite a Site to See()

  • CathieEricson

    @Soulati @ginidietrich Bad ones make good ones look extra good, but it always makes reporters/bloggers want to ignore most.

  • Pingback: PR Firm Gets Client's Site Blacklisted for Duplicate Content | Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: The Game Of Work()

  • Pingback: The PR of it All | Big Sea Design & Development()

  • heatherakemi

    Harsh, but helpful and practical tips for those of us who pitch to bloggers. Thank you for your post!

    • heatherakemi I know. I’m sorry. I was on a rant. It probably could have been toned down a bit.

  • robin324

    It’s frightening the collective disdain that PR pros have garnered, which makes it suck for those of us who are trying to do it the right way. It ‘s exhausting having to expend so much energy trying to get coverage for our clients in a medium that’s going to be used to wrap fish in the next day (newspaper). I teach my clients that they need to Get R.E.A.L to get noticed by being realistic, engaging, authentic, and long lasting (in other words, real) with their clients. And, I teach them that they can get all the visibility they want without ever engaging traditional media.

  • robin324

    It’s frightening the collective disdain that PR pros have garnered, which makes it suck for those of us who are trying to do it the right way. It ‘s exhausting having to expend so much energy trying to get coverage for our clients in a medium that’s going to be used to wrap fish in the next day (newspaper). I teach my clients that they need to Get R.E.A.L to get noticed by being realistic, engaging, authentic, and long lasting (in other words, real) with their clients. And, I teach them that they can get all the visibility they want without ever engaging traditional media.

    • robin324 It IS exhausting, isn’t it? I didn’t realize how bad some PR pros are until we started getting pitches for this blog. You should see some of the bad pitches we get. It sounds like you’re doing it exactly the right way. Keep doing that kind of work and you’ll continue to have good clients.

  • Pingback: The Blogger Approachability Conundrum | PRBreakfastClub()

  • Pingback: Five Tips to Get Last Minute Media Coverage by @kateupdates Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: The GroupHigh Blog » How to Know if A Blogger is Receptive to Working With Your Brand()

  • Pingback: How to Grow Your Network and Gain Leads: 8 Keys to Success - Belle Communications()

  • Pingback: Media Relations: Why The Economist Thinks We Have it Wrong Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Why Char-Broil’s Blogger Outreach Program Gives Me the Warm and Fuzzies -

  • Pingback: Relationship Building: Start with Good Manners by @SusynEliseDuris Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: Business Development: What the Flying Trapeze Can Teach Us by @jessostroff Spin Sucks()

  • Pingback: How to Know if A Blogger is Receptive to Working With Your Brand - GroupHigh()

  • Pingback: How to Know if A Blogger is Receptive to Working With Your Brand - The Outreach Marketer()

  • Pingback: How to Pitch Editors Perfectly Every Time by @AndreaMLehr Spin Sucks()