If you pitch me, and I’m grumpy or dismissive, don’t be a wuss and then not follow up as you said you would. Reporters (well, me anyway) put up walls to ward off amateurs and those who don’t really care about their story. It’s a test. One of many.
Monthly Archives: August 2009
For some reason I don’t quite get, there’s nothing that gets under the skin of journalists more than an email pitch that’s cc’d to a lot of people at once. Do this and you will get killed on the cc list itself as writers whine and complain via “reply to all” about your email etiquette transgression, and to make things worse you might also get killed in the press itself: See TechCrunch and ZDNet .
Instead, use bcc. Better yet: Use a mail-merge app that sends individual emails. Best option: Don’t blast a ton of people with the same crap. Pick and choose your media targets, and write personal notes to them.
And a side note to my compatriots in the media: Chill. If you get one of these bonehead PR spams — and we all do — just delete it. Nothing good ever comes from a vitriolic reply to all, and if you think you’re doing the world a favor by replying to all with the high-minded advice that everyone stop replying, you are fooling no one.
If you launch a product from your New York office, and a journalist from CBS (or anywhere for that matter) calls at 3:00 PM West Coast time to do a story, you might want to tell your receptionist that the response, “It’s after hours here, someone will get back to you in the morning,” is really more infuriating than helpful.
Better yet: Put contact information for your execs or your PR firm up on your Web site so said journalist doesn’t have to deal with your receptionist in the first place. See: Tip #22.
If you have an issue with a story, don’t whine to the writer about how you’re getting “hammered” by your client about it. We don’t care (usually). And it’s part of your job. So suck it up. Just say what the issue is and let’s move on from there.