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).
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.
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.
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?