One of the things our agency does really, really well is media relations. We are experts when it comes to building rapport with influential media members so that we can hit the ground running for the brands we serve — often achieving results within the first month of our working together. We love collaborating with media to secure coverage opportunities that add value to their news outlet and move the needle for our clients. Basically, we super heart media relations.
So, you can imagine how disappointed and even annoyed I get when I see a “PR professional” make a really, really bad attempt at media outreach. It sucks. It’s not cool and it evokes bad blood with journalists on behalf of the brand being represented. It’s very irresponsible and this poor excuse for media “pitching” has to change.
PR #Fail: A Really, Really Bad Pitch
What do I mean by a bad pitch? I’ve seen some really bad pitches throughout my career. But instead of choosing the worst, I want to share a pitch that may initially seem OK but really demonstrates a lack of research and therefore would be off-putting to a media member.
Here’s an example of a really bad pitch:
To: Undisclosed Recipients
Subject: Your Blog
Hi There –
I came across your blog and really enjoyed reading through your posts! Many people (like myself) often get into a comfort zone when it comes to the kitchen and what they make frequently for family meals. In order to encourage people to get out of that comfort zone I thought you might be interested in sharing an exclusive recipe from a new title in our digital library …
Here’s a great, easy pizza recipe that is not part of the free chapter available to the general public, and kids tend to love it! Let me know if you’re interested in sharing it on your blog. I’d be really eager to see what your readers think about it!
If you have any questions, or would like an alternative recipe to share please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
The #1 Reason Your Pitches Don’t Get Replies?
… because they’re not targeted. I can say that 9 out of 10 pitches I receive as a blogger are generic and un-compelling. Most of the time I don’t even reply because they’re so bad. Sometimes, I will reply back with tips if I can see that they made an effort. I’ll break down the above pitch to show you what I mean …
- To: Undisclosed Recipients – As in, you BCC’d a bunch of people at once. This tells me that you’re not really talking about my blog specifically but grouping me into a category of similar bloggers.
- Subject: Your Blog – Which blog? I write for more than one. Again, not feeling very special.
- Hi There — This greeting is super generic because it doesn’t provide a first name. This makes it easy to send the email to “undisclosed recipients” about each of their “blogs” …
- Pizza recipe — The blog she’s referencing (I can only assume, mind you) is my KateUpdates.com PALEO blog. As in, gluten-free and unprocessed. So, yes, we can confirm at this point that very little (if any) research went into pitching me.
There are other points I could pick on but the main point is this: Do your research.
Stop the Madness. Research BEFORE You Pitch.
The above pitch left me unimpressed with the agency and the cook book author for choosing them. It’s unfortunate and it needs to stop.
In order to achieve needle-moving, impactful coverage for the brands we each serve, the generic, boring, irrelevant pitches must stop.
Stop the madness and journalists and brands alike will want to hug you.