Fixes for Three Lousy PR Pitches

pitch
Image by Melvin Schlubman

We all know how bad the state of media/blogger relations is: Bad pitches abound! But there are some pitches that are worse than others, and as a blogger for the past six years, my in box has become littered with them.

Here are three that all too common, and some suggestions to improve them another:

1) The XXX Blogger Already Wrote About It Pitch

This one is really annoying. It usually comes from someone you know in a passing manner, or is a cold pitch from a PR person. It goes something like this:

“Hey Geoff. I was hoping you would write about xxxx. Joe Schmo (or Mary Doe) already wrote about it here: (INSERT URL). So you should, too.”

OK, let’s make that Super Annoying. If another blogger already wrote about it, why would I? Seriously, and beyond that, it’s insulting to infer that because x A Lister covered a story I should kowtow and follow suit (with a schmoozy link, too).

DELETE!

Suggestion: Provide some sort of unique angle or information that will make my story somewhat unique.

2) The Pre-Written Pitch with Added Fields

This one is the best, a result of publishing an eponymous blog. Invariably, it reads something like this: “Hey Geoff, we were hoping you would feature our new Facebook application in Geoff Livingston.”

I wasn’t aware I could feature an application inside of me.

DELETE!

Suggestion: Stop using email programs to send your pitches. If you don’t have time to do this and reach your full list, cultivate a smaller list so it is must have contacts instead of a list of bloggers.

3) The “We’re So Awesome!” Pitch

This pitch features exaggerated facts, hyperbole and a wonderful amount of pomposity and clichéd buzz words:

“As the leading provider of wireless widgets (which were awarded the greatest on earth by J.D. Power & Associates), Acme helped save 799,291 lives through $1 donations as part of its service.”

Of course this means I should absolutely write about said company. Um, no.

DELETE!

Suggestion: Stick to straight up facts. Instead of talking about how great your company is, talk about the relevant issue that I write about, and how your company fits into the puzzle.

What are some of your favorite bad PR pitches?

  • I’d add a pitch I get daily:

    We love your blog! We think your audience would be interested in hearing about X on your blog.

    Of course, the pitch is usually about some automotive accessory and my blog has absolutely nothing to do with it. Hey, if you’re going to lie and say you read my blog, at least lie convincingly.

    • Anonymous

      Ha!  No kidding. By the way, still love your blog. Very helpful.

  • Lulz. So true. 

    Being in the automotive industry, I also tend to get emails through the contact form from people in China whose broken English email belies their conveniently Americanized names. And why *wouldn’t* an online magazine focused on interviewing automotive enthusiasts want to order 5,000 Mass Airflow Sensors for mid-sized GM products? 

    I’m still at the point where I feel it’s good karma to kindly respond we are neither involved in such businesses nor engage in advertising in our publication and wish them well. Few reply with thanks. Ah well.

    • Anonymous

      Good on you.  I have a special autoresponder set up for folks like that. It basically says I read all emails (but I don’t reply to them).

      • I don’t know which is more sad; that people fork over hard-earned cash for such bottom-of-the-barrel efforts, or that there is actually a market for such tactics. 

        Ah well. Sooner this race to the bottom hits the bottom, we’ll have more room for meaningful organizations interested in focusing more on delivering better products than saying they do.

  • I had someone message me that they wanted to guest post “ABSOLUTELY FREE” I mean, I should jump on that offer right? That’s a good thing isn’t it?

    The very few times I have pitched someone a guest post idea they almost always accept it. This is because I know them, I know their blog and I do not waste their valuable time with nonsense. I almost used another word but I am not @DannyBrown

    • Anonymous

      Lucky you! Free, woo hoo!  I guess they could blog for themselves for free, too. Sigh. Sorry you get these.

  • All of these come across as madlib pitches. My personal favourites among these are the ones with grand pronouncements. In fact, I recently became aware of a company which bills itself as pre-eminent in its competitive space. I’d never heard of the company.

    • Anonymous

      Better than premature I suppose, but still lousy!  LOL.  Thanks for sharing that.