Good lessons from bad PR pitches – November edition

The Muck Rack Blog gathers them, I break them down.

Previous editions: October, September, August

I’m not being sarcastic: Journalists don’t like it when you try to be empathetic

You write pitches like this because you’re trying to be real and acknowledge the journalist’s humanity. But you can actually help them more by just getting to the point. I know this goes against everything in most PR people’s personalities, but trust the tweets – commenting on “the week” or “the day” like you would to a stranger on an elevator just rubs most journos the wrong way.

If a surprise happened and there wasn’t a camera to record it, it didn’t happen

I see both sides on this one. Darren knows that capturing a “reveal” makes good TV, and after the emotions are out of the bag, most of the juice of the story is gone. But in most cases, the PR pros get brought in too late to do the advance work to line up coverage of the actual moment. This happened to one of my clients this month. But credit the CMO for fixing his mistake – he gave them more money to recreate the surprise gift in concert with a national exclusive, and it’s going to happen next month.

The obligatory rants about pitching on or around an election

I almost didn’t even include these because it’s so obvious. But now you have some evidence to show your bosses in 2022 that Election Day is a bad day to pitch.

Angles that the reporters found remarkable for the wrong reasons

Most often, journalist tweets comment on the process of media pitching, rather than the specific story suggestions themselves. This month was an exception. Most are in fact ridiculous, but a couple of these seem like decent angles to me – probably mistargeted.


This article was originally published on November 24, 2020

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