How not to pitch a reporter

PR LEADS alum Jonathan Fields wrote a great article for the Huffington Post on how not to pitch reporters. He cited his own experience with a PR person who mass mailed a canned pitch.

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I posted a response:

As a former reporter (and an award winning one at that) and PR person with 30+ years standing, I agree completely with Jonathan. If you are going to pitch a reporter, make it personal. Show her that you know her readers interests and her interests. That will make you stand out from all the sorry mess of pitches that crossed my desk as a reporter!

Media databases can actually help you accomplish that. At BullsEyePu­blicity,co­m, for example, the media databases include information on reporters’ interests and lets you find their recent articles so you know what they are interested in. I’d strongly suggest that you Google any reporter to find their latest articles and get to know them so you can pitch to them on their terms.

Of course, the hardest part of this is finding the right reporter, and that’s where a good media database comes in. But, as Jonathan suggests, use them to build a relationship, and not spam the marketplace.

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