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Are your Pitches Trash?
March 5, 2015
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INC0215_coverDear Inc.:

Long-time reader, first-time letter-writer.

I spent this past weekend getting caught up on my magazine reading.  There were a few months of your magazine to get through, so sadly, in the interest of time, I had to just skim many of the articles, stopping to read a few per issue that caught my eye.

Imagine how happy I was to see that one of the columns in your February issue had to do with what we do for a living each and every day – generating media coverage.  I expected the author would be head of PR agency or an internal communications manager at a global company. But rather, he is the co-founder and CEO of a digital health startup, after spending two decades as a writer and editor.

In fairness, some of what he had to say was correct.  Mr. Goetz talks about his goal to get a story in the New York Times and how a good product and a good narrative (pitch) were key to achieving that goal.  However, he goes on to say he reached out to the reporter himself, rather than using a PR firm because “nothing turns off a reporter more than a bland pitch from somebody who’s never read his or her work.”

Now wait just a minute.  Feel free to not hire a PR agency, that’s certainly your prerogative.  But to make a sweeping generalization that all agency people don’t research the publication and their reporters first before pitching is way off-base.

He is right, reporters don’t respond to bland or untargeted pitches.  But reporters also have been known to not respond to pitches that come directly from the CEO of a company.

I’m sure during his tenure as a journalist, he came across of a variety of story pitches, good and bad.  I hope the decision to move forward with the story was based equally on the content of the pitch and on the relationship with the person pitching the story.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

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