Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Should You be Pitching me?


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I think this issue goes beyond pitching new media va. traditional. It's about changing the mindset that if you send out enough pitches, someone will eventually write about it. This approach demonstrates a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of PR, which, from my perspective, is to provide relevant information for the reporter/blogger, etc. At times, this has meant even providing content unrelated to my company/client to build a long-term relationship.

Per Angela's comments, it also raises the issue of how most PR agencies charge for this work (hourly) and what clients are willing to pay for it (results). And believe me, this raises another set of issues regarding client's expecations for "immediate media hits" without understanding what it takes to deliver quality vs. quantity.

Overall, I think this will improve as unlike most journalists, more bloggers have the freedom to address this via their blogs and social media. Which good PR practitioners will read, absorb and share with their clients.

As a former assignment manager who threw away the great majority of the press releases I received, I can tell you that they weren't even doing it right before new media, when pitching traditional media. What I really wanted was a story. Why is this news relevant? What will my viewers get out of it? Save the five paragraphs about the company history and tell me why it deserves any portion of my small 22 minute news hole. The mindset shift needed in this regard is very real.
This is beautifully written! This is also why it must be understood that true blogger outreach, that you want to be successful requires a great deal of time and research, and if you want someone to find the real people who have audiences who would benefit from your message,then it is their time that must be paid for, if you in fact cannot do it on your own. When they inform you about the time required for relationship building, you can't balk. You have to put something in to get something out. This sloppiness that you reference in this post is unacceptable. I've been dealing with PR professionals for years, again--dismissing their pitches, and I maintain that this is not difficult to understand, but it requires a shift in mindset. Now, at an agency as social media manager, I am able to facilitate change internally, and I am happy to do it.

@Rosemary - one wonders where the rules came from in the first place. It was probably something that succeeded at one point and people sold as the way to do things because publishing and spreading news was concentrated in the hands of a few. Now you'd want to get your information in the hard of the right people, which could be few of them with the right networks and connections. There is also something to be said about the nature of news vis-a-vis the context in which it plays. You would not believe how lame some of the pitches are ;-)

@Brian - unbelievably I still get the occasional team or person ringing my door bell, then knocking furiously or helplessly right after. It feels invasive. Well, I moderated communities as well and can tell you that not everyone wants to be a moderator... in some cases the community prefers to have someone in a leadership role, especially in the beginning to do the upfront work that gets things started. Hmmm, what the part about the social graph says is I may not be the right person, however my loosely connected contact could. If you have a good relationship with me, I'd be more willing to make introductions.

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