10 things you should never do when pitching a journalist

There are abundant ways to shoot yourself in the proverbial foot when trying to land media coverage. Keep these advisories in mind.

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Or at least that’s what probably happened, because it wasn’t long before medieval Europeans realized mass communication was a force that could change the world in ways that even kings could not. Now who keeps the keys to this kingdom of momentary fame? Those proverbial Peters known as producers.

After many years of cold calls and unwelcome emails, one producer finally decided to do something about it, in hopes that the journalist and PR professional might finally live together in peace.

The news gods have bestowed upon me these 10 commandments of pitching, which I now share with you. Heed these things, and thou shalt prosper.

1. Thou shalt drop generic greetings.

Hello, media professional, my name is Blah Blah Blah, and I didn’t put any effort into learning your name or organization, because to me, quantity is much more important than quality.

DELETE.

Not only does the “spray and pray” method require no skill or effort, but it is also arguably the least effective way to pitch. You don’t have to know exactly what a journalist’s beat is, but at least learn their name.

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