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irisYesterday, Shelby and I signed on to Iris PR’s webinar, Mass Pitching: Smart Strategy or Massive Mistake?

The webinar was moderated by Aly Saxe, with Iris PR and included a panel of PR pros: Melissa DiGianfilippo, with Serendipit Consulting, Laura Petrolino with Arment Dietrich and HMA’s own Abbie Fink.

The webinar was focused on the hot topic of mass pitching from a PR perspective. Is it ever ok to send out a mass pitch? According to the panel, the answer is NO. The only time that it might be ok is during breaking new situations. But even then, tread lightly.

As Abbie pointed out, mass pitching started “back in the day” when you had to physically mail out releases and then phone call follow-up with all reporters. There wasn’t a lot of personalization because of how the information was distributed. Now, thanks to technology, there is time for personalization and individual emails/phone calls to each reporter.

The panelists were in full agreement that the success of any earned media campaign comes from this more personalized approach.  It is important to consider the quality of the placements vs the quantity of placements.  As communications professionals, it is our responsibility to advise our clients and organizations on why we feel this strategy will net out better results.

Aly posed the question asking the panelists their opinion about public shaming of PR professionals who continue to mass pitch (or spam as they call it).  Laura believes it should be handled like any crisis situation that occurs online.  Speak to the issue, manage it appropriately internally and create a process so it doesn’t happen again.  Abbie felt strongly that public shaming is in appropriate in most instances.

The last question of the webinar asked each panelist to share their best tip for delivering a winning pitch?

Melissa: Attention-getting subject line and intro! After that, two to three sentences should be all you need to get the reporter interested.

Laura: Research the reporter and publication. After you know who is best to contact, and what they typically cover, you can customize your pitch for them with the key information they need.

Abbie: Make sure your spokesperson is ready to go! Don’t pitch something without the client or organization being aware and ready when the media calls. You know you’re going to be successful, so get your team in place before you pitch.

We enjoyed the session. If you missed out on it you can listen to the full session here.

What do you think? Is mass pitching ok?

Kelly Potts
Kelly Potts
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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