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!


  • This is great. I checked out Pinkdingo and think it’s fabulous Scott….and Geoff, I think your blog post giving him credit and exposure is also awesome. Wish I were in the area to have a beer with you two.

    I am currently at the tail end of an internship with Edelman and have this idea along withe everything you guys so…it’s just so hard to harness becuase so many people are doing it…and it’s all over the place.

    I definitely agree that the key to change is getting EVERYONE involved, even if they just give a little. The days of the UBER-CRAZY-donors is over…everyone needs to be on board….thank you for the insights…I will continue to follow and support you both.

    Lisa Z

  • Pingback:HOW TO: Effectively Pitch Bloggers

    […] the Anatomy of a Great PR Pitch, Geoff Livingston shared a pitch he recently received. (Tip: Read it. It’s a good pitch.) […]

  • One of the shortest and most effective soft pitches I’ve seen in a long time. Very few people take the time to research and get to know who they are pitching personally. Something I think is key: developing relationships rather than just pitching all over the place.

    “If more people pitched like Scott I think success ratios would go up dramatically” — I whole heartedly agree with this statement and kudos for giving him credit Geoff. Scott, thanks for leading by example!

  • This is a great blog. I am using it as training for my staff. Often the greatest obstacle to getting published is the fear of being rejected. Many juniors don’t want to contact journalists and bloggers directly because they feel like their inexperience will be found out.

    Doing the homework and realising that the journo/blogger on the other end of the line is just a person who is eager to communicate about abc makes it easier to communicate.

    Thanks for taking the time to highlight the apporoach.


  • I agree that is a really passionate and intelligent way to present yourself, and I glad Scott had his chance to chat with you. I hope good things will come out of your meeting, good inspiration :)

  • Pingback:Calling all bloggers – pay attention to my pitch! » Highlighter - Perspectives from RMPR

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  • HAHA I think my boss needs to read this. I am at a marketing firm and I swear he has us write like robots in our PR pitches. I personally am using your blog to keep me pitch writing in check as well as be entertained. :-)

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