The Differences in Pitch Style & Purpose Are Helpful to Understand
I love PR, I love SEO and I really love how well they intersect to grow client reach and conversion.
So when pitch samples hit my desk for my bad pitch column, Rock The Pitch, or I get pitched myself as a blogger, I know instantly where it’s coming from: a PR professional, a business owner/entrepreneur or someone trying to get an SEO backlink.
How that pitch is written can be VERY revealing. Motives are similar – a chance to publish a guest post or article – but many tend to follow an all-too-common, copy and paste template that reveals their true purpose behind the pitch.
[Tweet “Sadly, it’s rare to get a pitch that is specific, interesting and relevant.”]
I believe this is less about PR pros and more about WHO ELSE sends pitches. It’s not a practice exclusive to public relations specialists like it used to be.
Why do I write about backlink pitches in a PR blog? Because journalists complain about the quality of a pitch and attribute it to lazy PR pros when it isn’t actually coming from a PR professional (not that we don’t screw up, too), and PR pros scorn pitches on their client blogs mentioning money or compensation.
Both criticize or laugh about how bad the pitch is, without realizing where it’s coming from or the motivator behind it.
Took a quick peek through my email and remembered this pitch, which turned into a 6-page feature in Life Refined magazine.
She immediately gave me the “Why” as well as a deeper story possibility other than just talking about the exhibit in a 250-word blurb. The lead time was well in advance which magazines always need and there are gorgeous photo options included as well.
I ended up running a full feature on Neil Lane in the magazine and also wrote a smaller piece for another outlet I freelance for.
Hope that helps!
Holy. cow. How rare is it to get that kind of feature spread? I’m envious.
“Don’t be irrelevant, poorly written, too lengthy, boring and annoying.
PR people, please understand who you are pitching, sum up your thoughts in less than four sentences, use spell check, entertain me, and ditch the buzz words if you want your emails to stay out of the trash can.”
~ Erica Swallow, Mashable
Erica’s quote is wonderful and something ALL of us should take to heart.
Before You Hit Send On That Media Pitch…
Sometimes, for those of us who are detail-oriented and process-addicted, checklists can be useful. So I thought I’d throw together a quick one that can be taped up in a cubical and glanced over before hitting send on a pitch… Just to make sure we are following best practices, even when our day is insanely busy.