Some things bear repeating…

Public relations gets a bad wrap. Unfortunately, it’s because a percentage of the PR world abuses its privileges and when they do, it makes our jobs (and by our, I mean those of us who take this work very seriously and strive to engage with media and bloggers on their terms) that much harder.

We already know not to mass pitch media, and yet some PR people still do so, invoking the wrath of beleaguered journalists and bloggers everywhere. (Seriously, after talking to some of them and hearing how much absolute nonsense they receive on a daily basis, I’m surprised they talk to any of us at all).

Matt Haughey gives a good, what-should-be-common-sense-by-now, overview of how to and how not to pitch bloggers. Gina Trapani, of Lifehacker.com, goes so far to start blacklisting entire PR firms based on the transgressions of a few – she’s posted the list for the world to see here. (Wouldn’t you hate for your client to see you on THAT list?!).

I know all of us would never stoop to such low levels and mass pitch these folks. But let’s use this opportunity to remind ourselves to do our homework, read up on the blogs we plan to contact and only contact them with information that’s relevant to them and their readers. Sounds easy enough. Let’s show these editors and bloggers that we can actually bring interesting information to the table.

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3 Comments

  1. Oh, yes… how simple it all seems. Hacking Cough proposes a couple solutions here: http://blog.hackingcough.com/2008/05/quelle_surprise.htm. Jeremy Pepper waxes poetic here: http://pop-pr.blogspot.com/2008/05/pr-pitching-and-blacklists.html

    What they’re both saying is to just be human beings. Talk to people like they’re real people with busy days and focused jobs to do. It’s really that simple, yet so hard because it takes so much more time to do.

  2. You’re right, it does take more time. And of course I’m stereotyping here, but I think a lot of the bigger firms just sort of push these lists in front of a junior AE and say, “Start e-mailing.” They don’t encourage them to take the time to do the research because it’s all about pushing out (x) releases. And we wonder why PR gets a bad rep.

  3. Yes. In fact, Chris at Hacking Cough questions that very “pay by the release sent” model. It’s so much harder to price something based on results, when you don’t know what they will be.

    Maybe it goes back to that sliding scale of effort… charge more money for the harder things. Spike said last week that he’d rather 10 great relationships than 500,000 impressions. How do you make each interaction feel like a relationship?


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