It’s important to differentiate between legitimate story ideas and self-serving fluff. It also requires a balance of diplomacy and backbone to tell a boss or client that their idea won’t pass media muster.
Avoid the following pitches if you want to stay on good terms with media contacts:
1. Low-level personnel announcements
Unless it’s an editor’s job to report on changes to the organization chart, don’t bother with this pitch. Even high-level management changes are often not significant news.
This rule also applies to office moves and, our personal favorite, a website launch. Trust us, it isn’t news.
2. Re-packaging a story that didn’t work the first time
Don’t beat a dead horse. A colleague tells the story of a client who was enamored of a particular story angle. The agency backed it up with facts and started pitching it. For whatever reason—timing, competition, relevance—it failed to catch fire.