Something nobody does

Before you send out a pitch, do you test it by delivering it in person to a real human?

On one hand, this seems ridiculous. You have so much going on, you’re always racing to get the pitches out the door on time. And you’re almost always sending them by email, so talking it through face-to-face appears irrelevant.

On the other hand, a practice shot seems obvious. You invest so much time and effort into this outreach, and you only get one shot to make a first impression. Why wouldn’t you make a trial run?

This is not a theoretical argument. At my media relations workshops I have the participants share their pitches with different “classmates” throughout the day. During last week’s event in NYC, one of the most common pieces of feedback was, “Wow, practicing my pitch showed me ways to improve I’d never realized before.”

This is the reason I’m grateful I cut my pitching teeth on the phone. I’d prepare a pitch meticulously, and then as soon as I had a real human being on the other end of the line, someone with deadlines and self-interests and a soul, I’d hear myself switching it up on the fly to match their needs better. There’s an intuition that kicks in when you’re actually talking to someone else.

Nowadays when we avoid the phone so much, it can lead to us shooting emails out into the ether, feeling almost like we’re typing to our computer instead of a real person.

So for your next pitch, go grab someone else, tell them the name and beat of the influencer you’re sending it to, and try it out. It’s great if they’re also in PR, but they don’t have to be. Here’s what is key – only choose someone who knows as much or LESS about the subject matter as the influencer you’ll be pitching. This exercise helps you de-mystify what might be arcane or jargon-laced corporate-speak into an accessible “story” that someone will want to share.

If you find yourself flying solo, or you’d like to take your pitch reviews to the next level, that’s one of the things we do regularly inside my Inner Circle program. You can talk your pitch over with me directly during our monthly “Ask Michael Anything” session. Or you can get feedback from other members anytime via our private community forum. Members frequently post their placements along with thanks to their peers who helped them hone the pitches that earned them.

Now is the time to register for the Inner Circle Success Manual, because we will soon be accepting new members.

 

Before you send out a pitch, do you test it by delivering it in person to a real human? On one hand, this seems ridiculous. On the other hand, a practice shot seems obvious.

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When people hear that I’m in media relations, they sometimes ask me if I’m worried media pitching won’t be around much longer.

The answer is definitely no – media relations as a business is stronger than ever. But I AM worried that many people are doing it wrong.

For example, while you’re reading this, I’m teaching a media relations workshop in NYC – it sold out last month, and it’s the biggest crowd we’ve ever had. People are emailing and asking when the next one is because they’re bummed they missed this one.

That’s just one example of how popular media pitching has become and the resources people are throwing at it. But my concern is that too many PR people are grinding it out chasing the OLD media relations model.

Everybody’s CEO wants them in the NYT or the WSJ or on a network morning show or whatever is the Holy Grail in their space. For some organizations that’s still the right priority, and I can help them do that.

But most PR people could get a much bigger return – faster – by adjusting their focus to take advantage of all the new media outlets and channels today.

Take this example – your CEO wants media, but he’s skittish about a couple topics and warns you he won’t answer questions about them. Of course, they happen to be the topics everyone wants to know about your company. You know that traditional media aren’t going to play along.

So instead of tying yourself in knots figuring out how to book an interview with a top-tier outlet, look around. You can find a podcaster who would give her pinky finger for the opportunity to interview a CEO like yours. And would gladly agree to share questions with you in advance, AND give you the right to request edits after the interview. (Don’t dare ask a traditional journalist for either of those, btw).

Even top podcasters make these accommodations. Tim Ferris, who is regularly in iTunes’ Top 50, essentially brags about doing this. That’s how he books celebrity guests who in turn attract more listeners to his podcast. He even persuaded reclusive billionaire Peter Thiel on by allowing him to record the session solo and choose from a list of written questions!

Reid Hoffman started a new podcast (Masters of Scale) off with an incredible run of guests including Reid Hastings, Marc Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt and Sheryl Sandberg. You gotta believe that those heavy hitters reserved the right to collaborate on question selection and the final edit.

Now, you and I don’t get to work with celebrities or mega-CEOs. But somewhere there is a podcaster with an audience – perhaps small, but passionate – who would LOVE to hear from your CEO. So you book that interview, and then transcribe it. And then you pull out some cool quotes, and the nugget of news that you saved to break on the podcast.

Then you pitch those quotes and the link to the podcast to the digital-only outlets that cover your space. Think Mashable or Business Insider if you’re big enough, or a few respected single-author blogs if you’re not.

They get a post that’s essentially half-written and it’s more credible because it’s not based on your “owned” content, it’s a third-party’s content. The podcaster loves you because you’re promoting her podcast, so she joins in and starts promoting the interview as well.

And then when things go right, these posts get shared and re-purposed on more sites, and sometimes the traditional media even call 🙂

That’s just one example of how you can adapt to the times. When your CEO talks about landing top-tier traditional media, nod your head and do your best to comply. But at the same time, fill up the web with placements from new media who are way easier to work with.

 

P.S. A free press holding top institutions accountable is essential to our society. What I’ve written here has nothing to do with government officials, who I believe are obligated to answer unfiltered questions from representatives of the taxpayers they work for.  My main audience for this message are those companies or organizations who are being overlooked by traditional, top-tier media. Not those who are trying to avoid them.

When people hear that I’m in media relations, they sometimes ask me if I’m worried media pitching won’t be around much longer. The answer is definitely no – media relations as a business is stronger than ever. But I AM worried that many people are doing it wrong.

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Most people believe that it’s harder than ever to pitch media. I understand why they think that, but an experience I had last week crystallized how I see it differently.

It’s true that many traditional media outlets have shed staffers – especially local TV. Those that remain are doing the work that two or three used to do. At the same time, the proliferation of PR people and the ease of sending email means this smaller pool of reporters is getting drowned by the PR fire hose daily.

So I get that – pitching is tough. But I don’t think most people stop and really think about how it really used to be.

Last week an old friend texted me a picture of an open folder he found in a filing cabinet where I used to work. In the folder were the materials I had used for a national media campaign in 2003. I remember it – I was fortunate to land the Washington Post and National Geographic, among others. The crazy thing about the folder was that it contained . . . faxes.

Yes, even in 2003, many of the top-tier media (at least the ones I was pitching) still didn’t reliably use email. To get their attention, you had to actually CALL them and give them enough reasons to get and walk over to the fax machine to check out the additional details you were about to send them. And to even know who to target, you had to actually read their stuff regularly, because the online archives weren’t reliable enough (at all outlets) to pull up their recent work before a particular pitch.

Does that really sound easier than today? Yes, we’ve nearly ruined email as a channel for pitching by overdoing it. But journalists are still more likely to actually check it than they were the communal fax machine.

Now, instead of skimming five papers daily like I used to (that was way fewer than many peers), we can use search engines to quickly find the influencer for whom our topic is the most relevant. And there are now so many more platforms to connect with them on! It used to be just the phone. But now we can find them where they like to be – whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or the comments section of their blog. And swap little messages about shared interests to become familiar to them before we reach out.

My candid feeling is that pitching is actually easier now than ever before. But most PR pros don’t actually take advantage of the new avenues for success. They don’t admit it, but almost everybody in this business simply defaults back to the same essential process their predecessors used in the early ‘00s: blast out a news release to a big list of media and hope for a response. The only innovation is that today’s generic pitchers use email instead of blast-fax software.

That’s why you’re more valuable to your organization than you realize. Because you’re still reading, I know that you actually care about the nuances and fine details of the pitching process. Those additional elements “beyond the blast” that set you apart in the eyes of your target influencers.

YOU actually research a narrowly targeted set of influencers. You use social media and other platforms to get noticed well before you need to ask for coverage. You don’t send email blasts – your pitches are clearly customized for each valuable recipient.

As you fine-tune that expertise and stay current on evolving best practices, pitching gets easier. Don’t get me wrong – it will never get straight-up EASY. But it will get easier for you than it used to be. And your placements will increase and you’ll earn more autonomy to pursue media relations the way you know works best.

So you’ll be free to incorporate the next innovation that we don’t even know about. And someday someone will send you a screen shot of an email pitch you once sent, and you’ll think, “How quaint.” 🙂

P.S. Some have asked about options now that the New York workshop has sold out. We are working to schedule the next one in spring 2018. As soon as it’s nailed down, this web site will have the details and will accept registrations.

Most people believe that it’s harder than ever to pitch media. I understand why they think that, but an experience I had last week crystallized how I see it differently.

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It always makes me when chuckle when someone asks what I do for a living.

I tell them, and then they say, “Oh, PR, you’d be good at that, you’re so good with people.”

I know they’re just being nice. But they clearly have NO IDEA what PR really is. And that’s okay – my own dear mother still doesn’t really get what PR is.

You know how fake that “Sex and the City” version of PR is. We’re not hosting swanky parties all the time, or calling up important people and sweet-talking them into doing something they don’t want to do.

This is a strategic communications function that requires critical thinking and objective analysis.

That’s why I didn’t realize that my recent post about “getting out of your office” could make some great PR pros uncomfortable.

One of your fellow readers, Andrew, wrote:

Do you think extroverts have an advantage over introverts on the road to becoming Media Relations Masters? I usually avoid all  four situations you put in bullet points, unless I can blend in while in those environments.

This cogent question made me pause. I have thoughts (I’m about to share), but I don’t know what it’s like to be an introvert. I mean, I used to work all day and then go teach a 2.5 hour night class to budding PR students and walk out more energized than when I walked in.

My mom says that when I was five I would come home from kindergarten and set up a little desk and chair by the sidewalk with a sign that said: “Information – 5 cents.” The idea was that people would walk up and ask me questions and I would tell them the answers. (Sounds ridiculous now – except that’s essentially how I am putting my own kids through college!)

So I have no idea how it REALLY feels for an introvert to walk into the cafeteria with the intention to build rapport with a key organizational player and find out what’s happening in their department. Or to sit in on another department’s meeting and be the only person that nobody knows.

But I do know this – you achieve your highest impact when you focus on your strengths. You might expect me to say something motivational, like, “Introverts, you can overcome this hesitation, just push through it and you can be just like the outgoing and effusive people that fit the mold the lay public has of PR people.”

No. You find ways to apply your unique gifts within the skill set required to become a Media Relations Master. Andrew is already halfway there – you see how he noted occasions when he can “blend in.” He’s already found a partial path to building internal relationships required to get the crucial news nuggets he needs. Now he should step back and make a list of circumstances where he can comfortably “blend in” but still build rapport, and then create those opportunities more frequently.

 

I didn’t realize that my recent post about “getting out of your office” could make some great PR pros uncomfortable. No, you don’t need to be an extrovert to be a Media Relations Master. Here is my advice if you are an introvert and want to take those steps to be a MRM.

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How do you feel when someone unexpectedly pressures you with high expectations?

For me, the emotions that well up in that stressful circumstance have varied widely. Years ago when I was getting started at this, I heard:

“Michael, we need you at the registration desk right away.”

The look in the conference organizer’s eyes was urgent. As we weaved through the hotel hallways, I’m wondering, “What could I have possibly done wrong?  I haven’t even presented yet.”

When we get there, I see a poised woman, stylishly dressed, lecturing the CEO of the conference company about something. He’s nodding furiously, and when I walk up, relief washes over his face, like “Phew, now I can hand her off to Michael.”

He begins: “She feels the conference hasn’t been up to her standards so far, and she’s thinking of cancelling her registration for your workshop tomorrow. Tell her how great it’s going to be and why she shouldn’t cancel.”

She jumps in: “Frankly this conference has been way too basic for me not a good use of my time and money. I’m already getting placements in places like the New York Times style section and the front page of USA Today. Am I going to learn anything from you I don’t already know?”

And she folds her arms and furrows her brow.

Fortunately for me, this all happened so fast I really didn’t have time to think about it. If I had, I would have balked – this was only the first year I’d been teaching this pitching workshop. I’d never had someone this vocally demanding in my groups. And I might have shirked the challenge by giving her an out. But I didn’t have time for any of that. So I just said the first thing that came to my mind:

“I don’t know, but I definitely want a shot. I’d love the challenge of working with someone with your experience and helping you get to the next level. Having you there will lift the experience for everyone.”

She nodded and her expression softened a bit. We exchanged some get-to-know-you pleasantries and she said she’d see me in the morning.

As she walked away, my gut tightened, I got a little dizzy, and I was like, “What have I gotten myself into?!” And I stressed out all night about how I was going to deliver. Ultimately, I chose to rely on my preparation and then sleep finally came.

To her credit, when the workshop began she stayed off her phone and laptop and really applied herself. At lunch she told me that within the first hour she’d learned two new angles for her clients she’d never thought of before.

Shortly after that, she founded a PR firm, and today it has 60+ employees in LA, Austin, and NYC. Many of them are reading this post, and they also know the stress that comes from her high expectations and the thrill that comes from meeting them 🙂

You know what’s cool about people putting high expectations on you? You tend to perform better than if they hadn’t. And then your trust in yourself grows, and then you welcome additional challenges and the rewards they bring.

Like this email I got last week from someone who referred a friend to my next workshop. He wrote, somewhat ominously:

“His agency is small, so that means he and his team member are making a big professional development investment in your workshop (no pressure).”

Now, he absolutely WAS trying to put pressure on me. But he didn’t need to. I know that even people from big shops are making a huge sacrifice to trust me with some of their precious time. At this point in my career I like it when people come to workshops with this attitude, because they’re going to work hard and apply themselves, and get better results because of it.

If that’s you, we’ve only got 9 spots left for Secrets of Media Relations Masters in NYC next month. If registrations continue at the current rate, it’ll sell out before Labor Day.

Here’s the page with all the details. If you register, send me an email with your high expectations 🙂

How do you react when someone places high pressure on you? Here’s how I reacted years ago when I first started teaching workshops and an attendee wanted to know if my material was worth her time.

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Get out of my office

The most important thing I do in my business is pay very close attention whenever I speak with a Media Relations Master.

They come in many packages, each with his or her own personality and background. But I’ve come to notice certain things they all tend to say. They don’t always even realize that these seemingly tiny habits are key to their consistent success.

One such throwaway line I heard a Media Relations Master say recently was, “I just make sure I get out of my office and go out and visit with people.”

And I realized I’d heard the same thing from many others: I get out of my office (or my cube).

What do they do with this “out of office” time? They might:

– Sit in on meetings of other departments – nothing to share, no announcements to make
– Find different people to sit with in the cafeteria or casually plop down with someone in a break room for a few minutes
– Attend some kind of exhibition or presentation of successes, even if it’s after-hours
– Simply ask for a one-on-one meeting for 30 minutes “to get oriented to the great work your team is doing.”

But what if I’m a contractor/work from home/at an agency?

Definitely makes this tougher. I asked this MRM about that, because she came up through big NYC agencies. She said to work even harder to get this kind of face time, even if it’s only FaceTime. If you can’t drive over and do sit-down meetings with people beyond the client contact, ask for video conferences. “Make yourself an indispensable part of their team,” she said.

You can’t view this approach as yielding immediate results – you’ll quit too early. But when you do it consistently over a few months, the time you invested starts multiplying and coming back to you in spades. You start to get these kinds of benefits:

You suddenly have two dozen “reporters” sprinkled throughout the organization that are tipping you off to interesting customers, cool human interest angles, and extraordinary employee achievement. (Granted, you also breed one or two who keep sending you lame stuff, but since when was PR life perfect 🙂

You start getting a heads up on something cool or potentially controversial BEFORE it happens, rather than continually finding out too late to steer the communications around it.

Peers and even bosses start respecting the value of PR more and asking more for your input.

Back to this particular Media Relations Master conversation. After we hung up with each other, she forwarded me an email she received while we’d been speaking. It was from one of the other directors at the company and the subject line was a person’s name. It said, “Today I met this [customer]. I know you’re looking for interesting back stories and here is his . . .”

 

P.S. Are you thinking, “Nobody has time for that”? Then you might be in a situation that’s simply not conducive to achieving Media Relations Mastery. Or you might be letting distractions like email and social media keep you from the high-leverage activities that will bring you the biggest results and make the biggest impact on your career. I don’t know, but I bet you do.

The most important thing I do in my business is pay very close attention whenever I speak with a Media Relations Master. They come in many packages, each with his or her own personality and background. But I’ve come to notice certain things they all tend to say. They don’t always even realize that these […]

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It’s an age-old discussion. Should you invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, or what?

I’ve said repeatedly: Invest in yourself first. Raise the value you contribute to the world and you raise your earning power forever.

I walk the walk.

Last week I spent a half-day with an expert I’ve been following for 15 years. It cost me the equivalent of three months’ salary of what I was making when I first signed up for his email list way back when. And it was a steal.

He’s seen hundreds of businesses like mine up close, and I know from reading his emails and watching his videos that his values match up with mine. Getting his direct input on my work and mindset was like having someone come back from the future and say: “You can wander around trying all the stuff you’re thinking about doing for five years if you really want to. Or you could just focus on these four things and they will bring you the highest return.”

I knew it would pay off because my earlier investments in his consulting already have. It was a gradual process though. When I was starting out on my quest for self-improvement, I had been taught that “gurus” were scams and that knowledge had to be hard-won from years of poring over books. That’s what teachers and professors have been telling us, right? After college, I looked at training opportunities as expenses, not investments.

And now, it seems like there’s so much free advice on YouTube and blogs, why should anyone pay hard-earned money for it?

My hard-earned answer is: you get what you pay for. There is in fact great information for free online. But you may need to “pay” hundreds of hours sifting through it to find the key elements that are what YOU need right now. For example, I’ve analyzed dozens of free tutorials on media pitching online. About half of them do a good job hitting the same 8-10 key points (the other half do a poor job hitting those same points). If you were serious about learning how to dominate the pitching game and you relied solely on that info, it’d be like looking at the world through blinders that only allowed in 10 percent of the available light.

After I returned from my session with my business mentor, I held a call with one of my new coaching clients. Together we uncovered an insight that’s going to allow her to double her rates overnight. It’s value she has already created, but she couldn’t see it by herself. The investment she made in her professional development has already paid for itself several times over.

Invest in yourself. Raise your earning power just one percent a month, and the compound interest on that is astronomical.

It’s an age-old discussion. Should you invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, or what? I’ve said repeatedly: Invest in yourself first. Raise the value you contribute to the world and you raise your earning power forever. I walk the walk. Last week I spent a half-day with an expert I’ve been following for 15 […]

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Through a fortunate fluke in space and time, the past two days found me eating with two of the most successful PR pros I know. You can learn much by comparing this week’s conversations to those I had with them years ago.

They’re successful not because of their income or resumes (although they both easily check those boxes). They’re successful because they’ve worked creatively to build the lives they really want to live.

You’ve probably heard me talk about Devin Knighton. He’s the guy who strung together enough creative media splashes to eventually earn a seven-figure cash out on his employer’s IPO. We had breakfast Tuesday and talked about his first year in a Ph.D. program at Purdue. He has five kids and his wife doesn’t work, but he’s still able to pursue his dream of being a college professor without taking loans and while spending time with his family.

Remember Ken Li? He became so valuable to his Chicago agency that he “bought the farm” in Indiana, told them he was only available in the office one day a week, and they felt happy to hold on to him. Last night I was in Chicago on his “one day a week” and we had dinner.

Looking across the restaurant table at these guys took me back in time. When I first met them, they had people in their lives who doubted them, and sometimes those other voices won out. They both struggled with the same inexperience and lack of confidence that plagues everybody. In many cases, they had no idea what they were doing.

I wondered: What’s the difference between Devin/Ken and most of the other PR pros on Earth? What is it about these two that allowed them to arrive at this most wonderful place in life?

And the answer came clearly – they are doers. They didn’t wait for someone to show them the way, they went out and found it.

Devin quasi-snuck into one of my first workshops when he was just out of college – he found out I was beta-testing it for some experienced professionals and just showed up.

Ken was much more experienced, and he pestered me for months to take him on as a coaching client. I was booked up and not taking new clients, but his earnestness wore me down.

Later, they both signed up immediately when I rolled out what was then a fledgling, unproven program called the “Inner Circle” eight years ago. And they constituted about 25 percent of the membership until it got rolling 🙂

Not only did they invest the time and money in honing their skills, they acted on what they learned. Devin walked out of that first workshop and pitched the WSJ the next week. Even though he was young, he went against the grain and followed the 80/20 principle I teach about how to allocate your media relations efforts. As a one-person shop at three different companies he crushed the results of competitors who employed large agencies.

Ken was a self-proclaimed workaholic, so the productivity and work/life balance lessons I coached him on didn’t come naturally to him. Over time he applied them at his own pace, until he ultimately found himself able to “let go” of doing everything himself all the time. Instead, he focuses on the most important projects and tasks that brought the highest payoff for his clients, his agency, and his life.

Achieving the life you want, like Devin and Ken have done, isn’t complicated. The path is clear (although, like anything in life, it’s never easy).

Learn, then act.

Through a fortunate fluke in space and time, the past two days found me eating with two of the most successful PR pros I know. You can learn much by comparing this week’s conversations to those I had with them years ago. They’re successful not because of their income or resumes (although they both easily […]

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My rant

It’s a weird thing to get frustrated about. It should have made me ecstatic – and it did – but then I got ticked.

On Wednesday of last week two of my Inner Circle members sent me huge hits they landed that morning.

Sarah Weston got not one, but two different clients in a WSJ story. She battles in the fiercely competitive property development market, where there are hundreds (thousands?) of well-heeled companies bludgeoning each other over the scarce attention of a shriveling handful of national real estate reporters.

Her proud email to me has a subject line of “WSJ!” and reads:

I’m so excited and so thankful to be a member of the Inner Circle! I just couldn’t wait to share with you! I’ve forwarded my pitch below … you’ll see some of your tips deployed here!

And Jane Putnam placed a moving feature about a grassroots movement involving her startup’s product on the home page of People.com. The story was 2nd-most-read on the site, the writer is already doing a follow-up, and it spun off into 10 stories (and counting) on other outlets.  Most importantly, it sparked 3,000 applications to a new non-profit that’s donating Jane’s product to families who need it.

When she sent me the link, she wrote: I knew we had an incredible story to tell, and the Inner Circle helped me refine the pitch, as well as outreach methods, so that we could stand out from all the competing pitches. The response to the story has been incredible.

So why in the world did this great news – which arrived in my inbox only a couple hours apart – set me off?

Because if this can happen for two Inner Circle members on the SAME DAY, think how many MORE media relations pros could be enjoying this level of success and impact!

Top-tier media relations works, when you do it right. It’s not luck. And it’s not out of reach. As I read over these two pitches (which I’ll be sharing with the rest of the Inner Circle soon), I see enduring principles and best practices that can be replicated no matter the topic or industry.

But so few media relations pros are actually willing to put themselves in position for that level of success. The number one reason  excuse I hear from people about why they can’t won’t do what it takes to land big-time coverage is because they are “too busy.”

Taking the easy way out. Staying in reactive mode all day, answering emails and putting out fires, knocking out whatever someone ELSE hands them.

Real growth and real impact – like Sarah and Jane achieved – come when you take ownership of your schedule and stop letting other people set your entire agenda. You choose a grand vision and you carve out the time to do the work.

If that’s what you are about – if you’re not “too busy” to land career-changing media – then check out the Inner Circle and decide if you’ll be ready to apply the next time we accept new members.

It’s a weird thing to get frustrated about. It should have made me ecstatic – and it did – but then I got ticked. On Wednesday of last week two of my Inner Circle members sent me huge hits they landed that morning. Sarah Weston got not one, but two different clients in a WSJ […]

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#Cringeworthy

Continued from last week . . .

Two recent pitches crossed my desk – one hailed as “best pitch ever, actually” by the journalist that received it, the other posted to Facebook and Twitter with “#cringeworthy.”

The difference comes down to one word in the so-called “bad pitch.”

Before I go any further, I want to state that I believe the journalist in this case was unfair and unprofessional. If he didn’t appreciate the pitch, he could have simply deleted it and moved on. If the felt like there would be some teaching value in sharing it on his social media, he should have at least omitted the PR pro’s name and email address. Veteran tech journalist Harry McCracken extended this courtesy when he famously posted bad pitches to his Facebook page.

That aside, what set the reporter off?

This pitch used a clever subject line to attract attention and entice the reporter to open it. Just like the “good pitch” by Adam Yosim that I shared last week.

And in this case, the subject line actually related directly to the point of the pitch, which was to highlight an expert on Generation Z:

“GenZ will drive political establishment cray cray. Here’s how.”

This playful style isn’t for everyone, I know. But I respect the PR pro’s attempt to make this stand out. And that much obviously worked – the reporter opened it, right?

Here’s where things went wrong. The first sentence after the greeting is:

“Ok, I apologize for using the words ‘cray cray’ in an email subject line. Forgive me on that? It’s cringeworthy indeed.”

The key word here is “apologize.” Why use anything in a pitch if you’re going to apologize for it?

Can you see how the apologetic tone immediately creates a feeling around this pitch of desperation? That the PR pro is using a trick to get attention and then having to backtrack?

I can very much relate to this feeling, because I used to have it myself. I viewed the PR-journalist dynamic as entirely uneven – the journalist had all the power, and I was just a little peon begging for a morsel of attention.

Now go back to Adam’s pitch with the similar playful, creative subject line. Adam had a tougher hill to climb, because his didn’t have anything to do with the story idea he was pushing! But there’s no apology there – he just owns it, explains the connection and moves on.

That’s because Adam has learned that he can provide immense value to the right journalists. Those who are stressed out every day because they have to find the exact kind of content that Adam has access to. He knows he just needs to find the right targets and clearly convey the relevance and usefulness of the info he has.

Adam did a lot of this work on his own, and he honed those skills razor-sharp at my media pitching workshop in June.

The next one is in New York – register now to spend time with me and striving PR pros like yourself and Adam and get the placements and respect you deserve.

Continued from last week . . . Two recent pitches crossed my desk – one hailed as “best pitch ever, actually” by the journalist that received it, the other posted to Facebook and Twitter with “#cringeworthy.” The difference comes down to one word in the so-called “bad pitch.” Before I go any further, I want […]

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