Strategic PR: The Problem with Spam Pitches

In the public relations arena, it is crucial to know your audience. Casting a wide net when it comes to pitching  media contacts doesn’t translate as covering all your bases. In fact, this tactic wastes your time and strains the media’s patience.

Recently, The Haggler from the New York Times decided it was time to take action on the countless number of irrelevant pitches he received on a daily basis. Reaching out to the company of a poorly pitched product, the reporter found out that a public relations firm was responsible for the spam. Horrified that budget was being wasted with irrelevant pitching, The Haggler attempted to reach the firm for comment. No reasoning was obtained.

PR spam

This story is a great example of how important strategic pitching can be. There is never a time when blanketed outreach is acceptable. Follow the below suggestions before your next campaign.

  1. Research – Make sure you are targeting the right industry publications and the right reporters. Take the time to research relevant outlets and journalists who may have interest in using you as a resource.  Know and follow those who cover your client’s beats. Read their articles, determine their interests and then, and only then, pitch accordingly.
  2. Personalize – Instead of spamming 50 reporters in a mail merge with the same pitch, tailor your outreach individually.  Even though this does require more time, your sincerity will be noticeable and appreciated.
  3. Provide value – Make yourself and your client a reliable resource. Sending unrelated content to a reporter can cause them to ignore you, block you or ultimately publish a negative story about you. Ensure that your pitch is valuable to your media contacts before sending.

What additional tips do you have on strategic public relations? Leave them below in the comments!

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