Category Archives: Common sense

Tip #180: Sounds like one thing, is another

As I’ve said before, it’s not good if a person can’t tell how to spell your company when they hear the name. But it’s a lot worse if it clearly sounds like a thing it isn’t. Example: I just saw the demo for GoSteals. At the very least, the CEO should also have bought GhostDeals, which is what I thought the company was called until the slide came up.

Be clear in all things.


Filed under Common sense

Tip #178: Fool me once

This one pains me.

When you say you’re going to do something, like send a review unit, do it.

If you forget you said you were going to send a unit, and you pitch me again a month later, and I remind you of our conversation, and you say, sorry, I’ll really send it this time, then really send it.

If, a month after that, having neither sent the product nor checked in, you pitch me again as if we’ve never spoken, you do not get to say, when I remind you of our first and second conversations, “I requested a sample and am sorry to hear it did not arrive.”

There is no recovery from this.

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Filed under Common sense, Email, Relationships

Tip #175: Save the stalking for Facebook

Just wondering: Did Constant Contact also tell that I opened your email and deleted it already?

Hi Rafe,

I am the PR Coordinator for [[company]]. I was able to see through Constant Contact that you opened my e-mail yesterday (creepy, right?) that contained our newest press release, and I wanted to follow up with you.

Also did it tell you that when I clicked on the URL in your email pitch (before I deleted it), what I got was, “Your search did not return an exact match. Please try another search?”


So, to answer your question: Yes, it’s creepy. I don’t think that’s what you want. Unless you’re pitching a horror film.

Further reading:
Tip #82: Nag
Tip #105: One last check

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Filed under Common sense, Email

Tip #174: Delusions of grandeur

If you say the company you’re pitching will one day be spoken of in the same breaths as major consumer brands, perhaps you want to be sure your company actually makes a consumer product.

Expedia, Amazon, eBay, Monster… soon [[Company]] will be up there with them, as it is changing an industry via the internet with an innovative strategy and proving to be quite successful. [[Company]] is retrieving research from publishers and then deploying the access and usage rights to these published materials to clients in research-intensive industries such as pharmaceutical companies.

Yep. The next Amazon for sure.

Look, I’m not saying that this company doesn’t have a good product or that it is not a fantastic business. But when you pitch, you want to excite the person hearing or reading the pitch with the realistic importance of the company. When you over-promise, you devalue the entire story.

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Filed under Common sense, Email

Tip #173: Modernize your business cards

The back of Bizzy founder Gadi Shamia's business card.

If you’re pitching a mobile product (and who isn’t?), keep in mind that journalists are highly mobile users, too. Make it easy for them to check out whatever it is you’re selling. Put a QR code with a link to the site or the app download on your business card.

More business card tips:


Filed under Common sense, Relationships

Tip #172: The unlisted PR person

If you email me a pitch, include your phone number in the message.

If you don’t want to put a phone number on your email, put it on your Web site.

If you don’t put a phone number on your Web site or your email, I guess you don’t want to talk to the press.

If you don’t want to talk to the press, what are you doing in the PR business?

Your call is very unimportant to us.

See also: Tip #2, Followup immediately

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Filed under Common sense, Phone

Tip #167: Don’t bury the lead

Although it pains me to repeat myself, I post the beginning of an email pitch I received this morning. It’s the perfect example of why I wrote Tip #98: Make it snappy, Sweetheart.

Subject: Everyone loves a good pitch in the morning


Who am I kidding, no one truly enjoys reading a press release; much less being bombarded by them hourly. If you don’t mind hearing mine, then keep reading… and if you don’t, then feel free to click the shiny red X or red circle at the top of the page anytime.

[Our company] is releasing a new service called…

By this point, you’ve lost your audience. Look, it’s your job to pitch. It’s my job to be pitched. So let’s do our jobs — quickly, please — and move on.


Filed under Common sense, Email