Are you Pitching or Spamming?

Brand launches, quarterly results, joint-venture, tie-ups, promotions etc, there is always something or the other happening in your organization that requires immediate media attention. For the same you have your Pitch Note ready, drafted a fancy email with an appealing subject line, attached all the relevant documents, copied all the email id’s of journalists and bloggers on the bcc list and are ready to hit the send tab. (More like: In your face! like it or not)

Many Public Relations Professionals often forget that the people they are pitching the news item to, might be working on something more important. Whether they are journalists, bloggers or someone at the news desk we need to respect them and their precious time. While pitching to the media you need to establish who will welcome your pitches and also understand your target audience in order to have the best results.

Sending repeated mails or ‘spamming’ journalists is not the best way to get your news published. The trick is to understand what the journalist or blogger usually writes about so that you may have a better chance of sending them something that would grab their attention. Here are a few steps that might help:

  • Read as much as you can: Pick up all the papers and try reading all the news related to your industry, while browsing through the rest. Maintain an excel sheet to note down the names of the journalist who cover your particular sector.

  • Do some research online: Make a list of blogs and bloggers covering your sector. Also subscribe to their blog to receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Pick-up the phone to get answers: Try calling media houses directly and ask for the journalist who covers your topic as this will make the pitching process simpler for both the parties. This can save you a lot of time.

  • Go meet them: While on the phone, try to set up an appointment and go meet them personally to build a connection.

Several journalist I have met usually point out that PR professionals keep on pitching like there’s no tomorrow. They refer to our pitch notes as ‘spam mails’ and say the pitch usually ends up in the recycle bin. The point here is many PR professionals blindly select journalists to pitch without knowing the beat they cover, thus their pitches are treated as unwanted emails.

Think before you pitch and don’t end up being referred to as a PR spammer by journalists.

Kenneth Peter — kennethpeter.com

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5 Responses to Are you Pitching or Spamming?

  1. Debby says:

    Interesting post Kenneth. I am sure those tips can come in handy for I see a steep rise in the number of such ‘pitchers’. How much better it would be to put some more thought into the promotion campaign rather than blatant publicity that gets you nowhere.

  2. kennethpeter says:

    Thanks Debby! Spammers sure are on the rise.

    True! Moreover, early planning saves time and confusion, once we have decided that media coverage or publicity is imperative for the promotional campaign then we need to check how much publicity do we want; when do we want it; and the tools we will use. To avoid spamming, identify the journalists and then start pitching your campaign

  3. Debby says:

    Keyword: “identify the journalists”
    Bingo!

  4. katelynmash says:

    I completely agree, Kenneth! Respecting journalists’ subjects and deadlines will foster a good relationships. Hopefully a good relationship will lead to two-way communication – meaning that journalists will consider us PR people as a resource for information and interview sources.

    I wrote a similar blog post: http://bit.ly/daSJwF. Would love to have your thoughts. Thanks!

  5. kennethpeter says:

    Hi Katelyn!

    Sorry for the late reply, was a little occupied with a product launch in real estate to end of season sale in fashion retail, as a result had no time to visit my blog.

    Thanks for sharing your feedback! Its imperative to establish a good rapport with the journalist. Once you know the journalist well it leads to many opportunities for both the parties.

    I have read your post “Don’t Strikeout – 8 Tips to Make the Perfect Pitch” http://bit.ly/daSJwF and found it very useful for all PR Professionals. Thanks!

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