Dressing up the Mortgage: When PR Pitching Misses The Point

I was excited this morning to see in my email that I had received a PR pitch. As someone who does a lot of media pitching, it felt deliciously deviant to see how the other half lives, put the shoe on the other foot, see how green the grass was, etc. As I scanned the poorly written, poorly organized pitch for a handbag company, I realized that I had fallen victim to something I hear a lot of media complain about, but had never experienced myself – the blasting out of a press release with no thought about its relevance to the receiver. This bugs. It is hard enough to break through a journalists’ inbox clutter without unecessary, poorly written, innapropriately targeted pitches – no wonder PR gets a bad rap.

What NOT to do:

As I sat down to blog about this experience, I noticed that Strumpette’s Phil Hall had just posted about being pitched at his mortgage trading magazine for a fleece women’s-wear line. Do you see the connection? Me either. At least my pitch was in the same industry.

Phil goes on to list 5 PR Super Uh-Oh Oopsies – a great reminder/refresher that pitching only works when it is relevant and helpful and, shock, includes contact information.

Here’s the first:

1. Media lists that are wildly incorrect. Our friends at Wooly Bully Wear (who, in fairness, have a very nice product line) learned that the harsh way. But in all seriousness, this is the easiest mistake to avoid. Building and maintaining an up-to-date media list is PR 101. It is not difficult to determine which person at what media outlet is going to receive press releases. It is a good idea to update the list at least three times a year, given that the media industry has an uncommonly high turnover rate and last week’s editorial contact might have skedaddled to a better-paying opportunity elsewhere. Thus, do an easy fact check to make sure everyone on the list is still at their job. (I am reminded by a real dum-dum PR person who proudly showed me a media mailing list that included 15 people who were no longer employed at the companies on the list plus one who passed away three years earlier!)

…read the rest of Phil’s post

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.