Anatomy of a Great PR Pitch

Stephen Strasburg Delivers

When I woke up this morning the following pitch was waiting for me in my email…

Hi Geoff –

I hope all is well. I’m a fan of your writing and share the same area of focus. I started, which we launched in Beta form in March and are now overhauling with a very specific focus that will differentiate us (and our value-add for charities) quite substantially in a pretty crowded field (online fundraising).

Also, it looks like we have the same taste in motorcycles (see below)….

Anyway, I’d love to chat with you sometime soon about what we’re up to and planning, and online giving in general, if you’re game to do so. I am particularly interested because of this point from your post yesterday:

“It’s time for the popularity-based charity craze to evolve into a much more productive form of crowdsourcing that can better benefit society sans social network spam.”

I think you’ll like where we’re headed and I’d love to just talk about online giving / fundraising / charity and behaviors anyway, I could talk all day on these and I imagine you’re in the same boat, so I think it’d be fun to catch up. I will actually be in DC in the next few weeks, if you’d be up for a beer (always better than the phone….).

Let me know, thanks!

Scott Arneill


Why I Loved This Pitch

Let me just state I almost never ever follow-up on cold pitches via email. I love my readers, but I am a free spirit and tend to blog about what I want. But Scott got his meeting (we’re getting together at the Mashable Social Good Summit on the 20th in New York City). Here’s why:

1) Did his homework and knows what I tend to write about, and even cited a point a recent blog post.

2) Went beyond the norm and researched my personal interests, and even included a motorcycle pic. Aside from Scott’s fabulous taste in motorcycles, even if he had mentioned the Ducati I would have known about the extra effort. I have not actively talked about my GT1000 in roughly 6 months online.

3) The soft sell works. I hate being asked to do something specific. I love being informed of something that may be interesting. Instead of asking for a blog post, spamming me with a press release, or asking me to RT, badge, or anything else specific, he just wanted to chat briefly.

4) Scott offered me value via intelligence about the sector. Given his current role with Pinkdingo, I believe he has insights that I can learn from. The time will be well spent, in my opinion. It seems like quid pro quo to me.

I almost never expose bad pitches as I see them as a by-product of being a successful blogger. Really, I am honored to be spammed. At the same, time I use the delete key liberally. If more people pitched like Scott I think success ratios would go up dramatically. I look forward to learning more about Pinkdingo!