3 ways to sabotage your PR pitch (and 3 tips to save it)

Give reporters something no one else has and that’s relevant to them. Then let them do their jobs.

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Many pros equate PR pitching to a numbers game, but successful pitching requires careful targeting and a deft touch.

A conversation I had with a prominent Chicago TV reporter at a Pilates class suggests that less is truly more when it comes to pitching, and many PR pros might be unwittingly sabotaging their own pitches.

Here are my new friend’s primary complaints:

(Anti) social media pitching: Tweeting a well-crafted pitch to the right reporter can definitely result in a story, but their interest will disappear if they see you’ve sent the same pitch to a gazillion other journalists when they check out your Twitter profile.

Tip: Instead of firing out dozens of the same tweet, ratchet back the number of tweets. Instead, build relationships with key journalists and bloggers, and DM them when you have a great story idea.

Wildly irrelevant e-mail pitches: There’s no question that a great email pitch can generate great results. However, every journalist I’ve ever met has complained about being deluged with irrelevant pitches. The reporter I was speaking to was no exception and told me about pitches that were spectacularly wide of the mark, including one that invited coverage of an event in Florida. (She’s based in Chicago.)

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