Tuesday, January 10, 2006

On the Receiving End

As a producer in a TV newsroom, I didn't get a lot of pitches. I worked the overnight shift for a while, then worked as a writer during the day. Most of the pitches came in through the assignment desk and didn't get to me.

That was just fine. I got my share as a freelancer, but nothing too crazy.

But in the last few days I've started to see more and more come through my inbox. I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized: I must be in MediaMap! A quick search and yup, there I am. This is interesting in a "turnabout is fair play" kind of way. As a blogger, I'm open to being "pitched," but I'd like it to be relevant.

To be fair, my description isn't huge and I didn't fill out the form Bacon's sent me a while back, so lazy PR professionals can be forgiven for not fully understanding what, exactly, my blog is all about. I'm described as discussing "Public Relations and Marketing, Media and Weblogs."

But my blog isn't hard to find, in fact, the link is right there. Just click on it. If this basic step has been done then why have I received a pitch about customer satisfaction with e-tailers? This one addressed to the known quantity of "First_Name". Yes, it's bad.

Another invited me to the launch of a fashion magazine where I may be able to meet a supermodel. I must say, it's enticing. But I don't live in NY and don't have any kind of travel budget. Actually, I don't have a budget at all. Frankly, why would I write about a fashion publication. Is there some way it's taking advantage of new media? Not that I've found yet, though I may have to do an up-close-and-personal interview the supermodel to complete my research.

One thing did occur to me: how about some help for these harried PR pros from the folks at Bacon's? Why not just use the RSS feed to show the last three or four posts from a given blog right there on the page? It shouldn't be too difficult to do, as the feeds are public and just need to be put in just as they put in the other information.

At least then a person would know, without doing all that extra clicking "work" that I don't write about fashion. Not an end all answer, but then again, neither is Bacon's.

Frankly, a rule of thumb for pitching any blogger should be, if you can't post a relevant comment on the site, it's probably not one you want to pitch. If you can, then you're probably part of the conversation.

Just be open.

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