We’re making a start on a US chapter for our How Not To Guide to Public Relations. We’ve already had more than 100 responses from all sorts of publications and outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, Chicago Tribune and more. Here are a couple of examples. More soon…..
“The worst example in a long while came from [Leading global doll manufacturer’s] PR people who contacted me for some odd reason to promote their latest [famous doll] product. “[famous doll],” gushed the contact, “is reaching out to you because she is going on the road to look for a new place to live and coming to your area.’’
HUH? A doll is reaching out to me? Since when am I the doll reporter?
Why was she wasting my time?
And did she know our geography? The cities [famous doll] was considering had high crime rates and were not posh. So what was next? [Famous doll] gets an Uzi? [Famous doll] joins the ‘hood? [Famous doll] goes to Neighborhood Watch?”
“I hate pitches that:
1) Begin Dear Editor/Producer. Says you’re plastering the universe with this pitch and there’s nothing of special interest to me or my organization.
2) Don’t research ahead of time what I cover (Rising obesity rates for household pets? No. 45% of all American men have moustaches? No again.) I cover race and ethnicity and all the things affected by it. Fat doggies and hairy upper-lipped gentlemen aren’t part of the package.
3) Make completely specious links to my beat, especially when bolstered by bogus experts. (“15% Native American families love Gooey Crunch Breakfast Cereal with Marshmallow Stars! Let us make an appointment for you to speak with Dr. Notta Nutritionist about the energizing effects of heavily sugared cereal…”)
4) Pitch everyone in your newsroom at the same time. We’re kinda on to that, and the reaction tends to be “oh, you got one of those, too?” followed by the thunk of the mass pitch into the waste basket”
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