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Lesson Learned about PR Pitches

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For my Be a Better Blogger crowdfunding campaign, roles are reversed. I am accustomed to public relations professionals—what many of my peers call flaks (I don’t)—sending me cold pitches about something related to technology. They range from product announcements to corporate news. Now I’m the cold pitcher promoting my money-grubbing requests to support the project. I don’t like how it all feels, but…

I actually archive most of the PR email received, and these messages go back to the 1990s. So my pool of marketing professional return mail addresses is quite sizable. The day after the campaign started (February 1), I pitched back. About 150 of the PR folks got my cold pitch. I kept the outreach to those with whom there had been interaction within 18 months. Their responses exceeded expectations.

To date, three people sent well-wishing emails, and the cold messaging generated zero crowdfund contributions. Meanwhile, the volume of incoming PR pitches to my work email address is more than triple that received before Groundhog Day. The consequence: The volume is now unmanageable, and I must relegate everyone to the backwater.

Soon as this post goes up, I will create an email rule that immediately places @betanews.com messages, other than those arriving from my work domain, inside a “PR Pitches” folder. No more Inbox. Rather than read messages as they come in (my current practice), I will review them once a day. There are now too many, and I regret sending the cold PR pitch that generated them.

The sins of the few punish the many. My apologies for that.

The role-reversal surprises me. I didn’t re-pitch those PR folks emailing me, although they essentially treat me that way. What should I expect? They’re tasked to do what they are. Lesson learned. Nature of the beast, like the scorpion and the frog.

I expected more positive response from the PR camp. Then, again, I reply to few marketing messages, although they all are read and many are archived. Still, contribution is response enough, and for good reason. Bad blogging and news reporting creates public relations headaches, which is the main reason I emailed the marketing troupes. There is potential benefit to them, if the book delivers what I promise and finds an audience among writers.

With 15 days to go, I turn to my peers, asking their support. Even if just a social shoutout. They will start receiving cold pitches today, and I hate sending them.

As to the previous outreach, I can’t say PR pros supporting my book crowdfunding campaign would receive special consideration, but…

Photo Credit: Devin S Photography

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