The New York Times vs. ‘PR spam’

The writer of the paper’s ‘Haggler’ column decided to ask why his inbox was filling up with pitches that had nothing to do with him. At least one business owner was surprised to hear it was happening.

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Check out the articles here on about how to pitch a reporter or blogger, and you’ll see a common thread: Know the work of the person you’re pitching, and make sure he or she will be interested.

To put it more succinctly, don’t spam.

And yet it happens all the time. PR firms swamp reporters—hundreds and hundreds of them—with cookie-cutter pitches in the hope that someone will notice. We are intimately aware of the phenomenon, not just because we cover pitching, but because every day we get dozens of pitches, many of them unrelated to the topics we cover.

Sunday’s Haggler column in The New York Times addresses the phenomenon. Writer David Segal even contacted the company behind a pitch for a self-chilling glass. The managing director of the company, Andrew Lazorchak, was surprised to hear that the PR firm his company was paying $1,500 per month was sending them so broadly.

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