The Six Traits of a Bad Pitch

While pitching is the bread and butter of our job, there are many times we see pitches sent out that are just bad. Before sending a pitch, make sure to check yourself before your wreck yourself. Seriously. Here are some characteristics of a bad pitch.

Check Yourself

  1. Boring subject line. The subject line often determines whether or not your pitch is even opened. Think about what would capture your attention.
  2. Not customized. We’ve said this time and time again, but every pitch you send should be personalized. If your pitch starts with “hi there” and no name, reconsider sending.
  3. Too long. You should never send an essay. Two-three paragraphs MAX.
  4. Grammatical errors. They happen, but they shouldn’t. Proofread EVERYTHING.
  5. Off topic. Whether it’s bad timing or something the reporter would never cover, this is where research comes in handy.
  6. Too pushy. Asking for too many favors without giving the reporter something substantial will harm any relationship.

 

What are some other characteristics of a bad pitch?

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Asking for Help Does Not Mean Admitting Defeat

Now that I’m in my late 20’s, I’ve had multiple experiences that have taught and retaught me the above statement – much more than I can remember. Whether it’s with work, your personal life, or when you need someone to help you carry your 45 lb suitcase down 5 flights of stairs, asking for help is more than a good idea – it’s necessary. We are led to believe that we can be fearless, strong and independent in this world, and that is certainly true. But those who are smart aren’t afraid to ask for help along the way.

I’ve found that when I don’t ask for help when I really do need it, I feel like I’m flayling around without any sense of where or when I can stop. I’m taking guesses rather than making informed decisions. I’m relying on my emotions (or perhaps my exhaustion level) rather than my experience or know-how.

Here are a few hints you should be asking for help when you’re just not sure…

You’re about to make an assumption - No need to assume anything. Whether you ASSUME someone doesn’t like you, or you ASSUME something is due by end of week… just ask the right person who would actually know. No harm in it.

You’ve tried your first instinct reaction and it didn’t work – You gave it your best shot. Before you waste anymore time on the issue, explain to someone what you tried to accomplish, and ask if they have another opinion on the matter.

There are others involved and you  need to be right the first time – This is especially true in work. If there is a big group project and others are depending on you, this is NOT the time to be a hero and try to accomplish it all alone. Lean on others who have been there before or team mates who can help

 

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PR Twitter Tips: September 2014

Happy October! It’s finally starting to feel like fall – plaid scarves, lattes and all. Here are some of our favorite #PR101 Twitter Tips from the month of September. Thanks to all that tweeted.

pr101

: You don’t build a business, you build PEOPLE. And then PEOPLE build the business.

: “Everyone is a backseat driver in communications.”

: Starting a new project? Be sure to do your research and build a relevant media list.

: Not being there doesn’t mean that you are not accountable. Switch on, connect, follow-up even on the weekend.

: As a publicist, “patience” takes on a whole new meaning.

: Mad about sports? Crazy for tech? Fan of film? Whatever you love, PR allows you to pursue your passion.

: Emailing a photo? Don’t forget a caption! Editors may not know who is in the photo.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @nycprgirls for more #PR101.

 

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Things That Shouldn’t Surprise You About a PR Girl

A PR Girl has a lot of quirks. Some better than others. Below is a quick collection of things that shouldn’t surprise you about a PR girl:

  • We won’t be putting butter in our coffee anytime soon.
  • We are the best at Tinder-ing for our friends, and getting them to go on that date
  • While we claim we’re “bad at numbers,” we’ve memorized our credit card (and our corporate card) for speedy online checkout
  • We can repair your high heels faster and cheaper than your cobbler can (use black nail polish to fix patent next time)
  • While we can have the mouth of a sailor, in front of an important client or your mother, we’ll be an angel
  • We reference The Cut more than we’d like to admit
  • We tell the taxi drivers which way to go, and know when to admit defeat and take the subway
  • Yes, we’ve seen Frozen, read 50 Shades of Grey and laughed at the Lego Movie. Because it’s culturally relevant.

 

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