Ten Commandments of Pitching

Lessons for the unenlightened – and there are plenty in PR because middle and senior management typically don’t (a) invest enough time in training and (b) lead by example - thou shalt NOT:

1) Ask the journalist if he’s going to publish you client’s comment. It makes him/her not want to
2) Request the journalist flag coverage to you. It’s YOUR job to media monitor
3) Commit the old chestnut and call to see if a journalist got your email
4) Call a hack’s mobile first – always go with the landline as first point of contact, it means the journalist is not in the middle of something else
5) Miss a journalist’s deadline – not without at least giving good advance notice
6) Leave incredibly long voicemails. It’s bad form in life in general, but especially when calling the press. They don’t listen to them so you’re wasting your breath and your time
7) Give the journalist the opposite of what s/he wants (see this post for more…)
8) Commit a newbie junior to the phone. Would you trust your brand to someone with little sales experience and even less grasp on technology?
9) Drown journalists with (often untrue) marketing cliché. Read this blog on best practice
10) EVER EVER E-V-E-R ask - as someone did to me recently - "what publication this is for"...need I say more?

What do you think PRs should avoid doing when pitching?


  1. ... and I can confidently state that I have experienced almost all of these in the last six weeks.

    The mobile call first infuriates me. Not because I am important or busier than the next man. But because I when I sat at my desk I am working and when I am on my mobile I AM NOT!

    All very true, PR people totally miss my deadlines do all of these.

    But it's about 80:20.... 80% of PR people do get it. 20 are just doing it for a job and couldn't care less.


  2. These are great guidelines! Just hope that PR peeps - old and new - get to see this and take note of it. Unfortunately I suspect that they will learn the hard way and get their finger's burnt in the process.