Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Art of Pitching

I have only pitched Adam Gaffin once, and rather unsuccessfully at that. Frankly, I wasn't so much pitching him as making him aware of my Boston-based client.

That said, I have managed to be referenced on his highly-trafficked Universal Hub blog quite a bit, because over time I've learned how to write blog entries that he finds useful and that, I believe, he'd find useful to share with his readers. If I notice he hasn't linked to something I believe is relevant, I may drop him a quick email to make him aware of the post.

That's just Adam. You can send him a traditional pitch, and he may even use it, but you're better off writing on your own Boston-based blog something about the community. Ultimately, that's what Universal Hub is all about.

Someone like Robert Scoble is a different story, he's very pitchable if you know how to reach him. He'll listen and tell you if you're full of crap or if you have something he can use.

Of course, you'll find none of this data on the database most used by PR people called Cision. I could tell the very first day my blog got listed in Cision, because I immediately got deluged with laundry list of bad pitches, few of any relevance.

I could blame this on Cision, but as a (former) Cision user I don't think that would be fair. It's actually user error. I found that a lot of people would do some searching, create a list and then just start pounding away. If they stopped and looked first, reading a few blog posts, perusing a few articles, looking at a LinkedIn profile or two, they'd immediately determine which names on their lists are for real and the best approach for each person.

Of course, that kind of work takes billable hours to do, and right now the name of the game is to keep hours low and hits high.

So Adam is going to continue to get pitched about "nipple covers for 'moms hitting up the pool.'" Only, with Twitter he can complain about it.

But to Cision's credit, Ruth McFarland has been very responsive to complaints, but the fault doesn't always lie with them.

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