The Muck Rack blog gathers ‘em, I break ‘em down.
See a three-year quantitative analysis of journalists’ complaints on Twitter here.
Just got my first pumpkin spice latte pitch of the season. Can't we hold off until at least September for pumpkin spice?
I don't understand who's buying all this pumpkin spice to justify an aggressively early PR pitch in August. Just say🙅🚫to 🎃spice
— Dawn Kopecki (@Dawn_Kopecki) August 10, 2022
When I began this project of documenting all journalists’ Twitter complaints about pitches, I never would have guess that pumpkin spice would turn out to be the fourth-most frequently complained-about pitch topic!
Build your list based on blind geography
I keep getting P.R. pitches for data stories from someone in another country about ALASKA. I keep pointing out that, while Alabama and Alaska are close alphabetically, they're separated by roughly 4,300 miles, among other things. So far, this isn't making an impression on them.
— WilliamThornton (@billineastala) August 10, 2022
I’m pretty sure the PR pro scrolled down the drop-down list of states on their pitching platform and selected “AL,” assuming it stands for “Alaska,” instead of “AK.” Moral of the story? Don’t rely on pitching platforms to build your list for you anyway.
Ignore beat/title when you build your media list
Once again asking people who do PR pitches to just… look at my job title pic.twitter.com/47NLDZrPDM
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) August 12, 2022
Andrew covers Congress and the pitch is about a dating app.
Assume that beat/topic is enough while ignoring production model
PR pitch opening: “As you are starting to consider products for holiday gift guides”
— Rob Pegoraro (@robpegoraro) July 27, 2022
Let’s say you’ve properly narrowed down your targets to “people who cover consumer tech products.” To get the timing right, you gotta go one step further and break out long-lead print magazine editors – who are very much working on gift guides in August – from digital-only writers, who work on gift ideas later in the year.
I'd like to make an induction into the absurd PR pitch Hall of Fame: Got one today wanting me to write about how Indiana is the 25th most expensive state for bathroom remodels.
— Marek Mazurek (@marek_mazurek) August 22, 2022
No doubt the agency is just working down the list and trying to send localized pitches. This is a good illustration of how news value relies on extremes. With rankings, you wanna focus on the top and the bottom. So in this case probably only the five most expensive and five least expensive states.
Actual PR pitch: Hey, I see you wrote this story on COVID-19 in Michigan. Do you want to talk to anesthesiologists in Texas about it?
— Mike Stucka (@MikeStucka) July 26, 2022
Unless your source is a nationally recognized expert, they’re not going to be used for stories about other locales.
Getting PR pitches that are like, “If you happen to be around the Hamptons this weekend,” and first of all, do I look like a rich white lady born into decades of generational wealth to you???
— Mekita Rivas (@MekitaRivas) August 5, 2022
This sounds like a travel story and no doubt presents a dilemma to the pitching pro. The client wants lots of coverage but doesn’t have a budget to pay for journalists to visit the destination. So the pitcher has to resort to “if you happen to be in . . .” Obviously that triggers the journalist. A better solution to the dilemma is to pitch the virtues of the destination without the assumption that the journalist has to actually go there to include it in their coverage.
An all-new way to mess up mail merges!
I received a PR pitch that started out with
and ended with
— Ellen Chang 張 心 瑩 (@EllenYChang) August 3, 2022
Obligatory traditional mail merge fail
This will always be my favorite category of PR pitches. pic.twitter.com/d5AwrG4ZAl
— Ross Wilkers (@rosswilkers) August 19, 2022
This article was originally published on August 25, 2022
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