Who are you pitching to?

Our AHA blog is listed in Cision, a media database. It’s pretty clear, even if you only read a couple of our posts, that we write about communications: brand journalism, public relations, media relations, social media, positioning and messaging. It’s all related to strategic communication.

It seems pretty straightforward to me what to pitch to us. Which makes us shake our heads in wonder when we get pitches from random PR agencies and independent PR practitioners that have nothing to do with what we write about here. It looks to me like some people just grab any email they can find and send out a news release or pitch, whether it is relevant or not. We suspect they might then go to their clients and say, “We developed a database of 10,000 journalists and bloggers and have reached out to them.” What the client isn’t hearing is that if they are sending useless (and sometimes annoying) information to journalists and bloggers. It’s not good for the organization’s reputation or the agency’s.

We remember who these people are, who the organization is and while I may not have much power or influence in these type of things, I can tell you when we get together with colleagues and friends who are in this field, who are journalists, who are bloggers – the discussion turns to this and we talk about them. And not in a good way.

When someone comes on board as AHA Crew, we ask them how they build their media and blogger lists. What their criteria is, how they define who are the right journalists/bloggers to approach, and how they would approach each media outlet, journalist or blogger. It’s about being strategic, targeted and taking the time to do it right.

So, if you are one of the people pitching us on story ideas that are so off topic that it makes us laugh out loud – please stop. (I doubt this will work because I am sure none of these people take the time to read this blog.)

If you are one of the communicators that care, check out the media outlet, the beat or column, the pieces that the journalist you are pitching focuses on. Read the blogs and subscribe to them. Media/blogger relations is an important component of what we do; take it seriously. Give the journalists and bloggers the respect they deserve. You will get better results.

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