The Muck Rack Blog gathers them, I break them down.
Previous editions: September, August, July
New trend: Journalists surprised that PR people look at their public social media accounts
just got a PR pitch from someone who said they "stalked" my insta, complimented the pics of my foster dog i just put up, and congratulated me on my recent move… we need to learn some boundaries people
— Tara Santora (they/them) (@Tara_Santora) October 13, 2020
Idk if checking people's Twitter bios is the new standard PR pitch but maybe just maybe don't ever do this you creeps pic.twitter.com/fEAhnDxYsI
— Abbie Bennett (@AbbieRBennett) October 20, 2020
If you saw both of these tweets you might think it’s bad form to reference journalists’ social media posts or profiles when you reach out to them for the first time. That would be an overreaction. At a high level, most journalists understand that what they post on public social media accounts is going to be viewed by PR people. In fact, many actually appreciate the extra effort to customize your outreach to them. In these cases, it appears that the PR pros went way too heavy on the personal references and didn’t balance that with enough professional substance. As Abbie explains deeper in the thread, journalists don’t write about your idea just because you profess to like the same type of pets they do. However, a deft reference to a shared passion FOLLOWED by a logical transition to what you have to offer can persuade them to read a pitch that would otherwise go overlooked.
That’s not creepy, THIS is creepy
Personally find the PR pitch, "I see you opened an email from me recently, please engage" as creepy and weird.
— Jenna McLaughlin (@JennaMC_Laugh) October 6, 2020
In contrast with my first item, this one is going too far. Just because your email software shows you opens doesn’t mean you reference that openly. If PR people keep this up, then journalists are gonna figure out that they can disable image downloads and that will blow up the tracking pixel that such software uses.
The canary in the coal mine that a buzzword is becoming useless
ban "guilt-free" from food pr pitches challenge
— Kendra Vaculin (@kendravaculin) September 28, 2020
This is one of the really useful benefits of journalist-tweets: When you see them start to complain about a word or phrase, you know that it’s become “hype” in their mind and is no longer valuable. So drop it from your pitches to preserve credibility.
This journalist just made a big mistake
You know who really pisses me off? Bossy PR people. If I don’t write back to you it’s because your PR pitch has NOTHING to do w/ what I write about. If you follow-up a 2nd time, imma send you to the right person but not without letting you know you’re bad at your job. Go away.
— Melissa Montoya 🌊 (@MelissaMontoyaO) October 1, 2020
She thought she was being clear that this was a rant against misguided pitches. But she ruined that by admitting that she still forwards the pitch to the right person. So the bad pitches will keep coming. Give her a few more months, she’ll learn to stop being helpful when PR people don’t do their homework. 🙂
A journalistic treatise against exclamation points
Why I dislike exclamation points in #PR pitches:
1) They are attempts to create false excitement.
2) They often accompany poor grasp of the topic and audience.
3) They read like someone trying to con me.
Other #journalists, am I missing anything?
— Erik Sherman (@ErikSherman) October 13, 2020
Erik doesn’t know this, but I’ve been trying to support his cause for a while. Not because I personally dislike exclamation points, but because I know many journalists who do. Now you have a handy three-point chart you can show your boss or client when they want you to “pump up” the writing in your tech or finance pitches. (Emotion is still okay for most lifestyle and entertainment outreach.) To your success! (see?)
This one is funny because . . .
PR pitch: "I've noticed you cover sports tech frequently . . ."
— Joe Lemire (@LemireJoe) September 28, 2020
. . . Joe runs a newsletter called “SportsTechie.” It doesn’t help to personalize your pitch if the personalization is so lazy that it makes it look like you don’t even care.
No excuses for these
If I had $1 for every PR pitch I get with a dead web link, I'd have about $5 a day #YouHaveOneJob
— Steven Rosenberg (@passthejoe) September 22, 2020
Another finely customized PR pitch by email … pic.twitter.com/Gb7oXG4PiE
— Gary White (@garywhite13) October 5, 2020
This article was originally published on October 27, 2020
(I’ll also send you other weekly tips)