Holiday Pitching – Or Maybe Not…
We’ve all heard about journalists griping over bad pitches. A security reporter from Dark Reading complains about a company using the holidays as a springboard for pitching in his article, “Smells Like Holiday Spirit.” Some like it, while others don’t. As PR professionals find the best ways to contact the press, we should be asking ourselves when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. Do we have to use all of the holidays? Definitely not. Or at least, if we want to keep our credibility, we need to be more selective in our outreach. Not all pitches have to be tied into a day of the week as it does cheapen our value and understanding of the press.
Why does this happen? I really question how agencies train their junior staff in their outreach efforts. Are managers shoving a pitch at them that they then indiscriminately throw out in a mass email? This is of no benefit to the staffer or the reporter. We should always be challenging ourselves and others to send out pitches that best fit reporters, not our time frame or email capabilities. Yes, there will be time for more general pitches, but send them to the appropriate group so as to avoid reporters from having to do more email weeding than less. Take the time to mentor your employees so that they understand why they are reaching out and how to best maximize their efforts.
Let’s meet them half way in a manner that befits our profession and theirs. Brief rant, I know, but on a topic that probably deserves more coverage and wrist slapping.