December 15, 2018

Helping PR pros make smarter decisions

Once More for the Cheap Seats (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Once More for the Cheap Seats (and Other PR Blog Jots)

Once More for the Cheap Seats
Seth Godin

I’ve only recently joined the ranks of “those who receive terrible pitches and press release spam,” but I’m already annoyed by it frequently. Seth Godin calls out a PR pro on a lazy pitch, and offers the advice we’d all like to scream at everyone who spams us: make it personal! Finding out a couple of simple details and personalizing a pitch email will dramatically increase the odds that the target will respond. “You can contact just about anyone you want. The only rule is you need to contact them personally, with respect, and do it months before you need their help! Contact them about them, not about you. Engage. Contribute. Question. Pay attention. Read. Interact.”

Not So Friendly Skies
Dave Fleet
In either a case of amazing timing or terrible timing, the American Airlines Pilots Association launched an offensive against the airline this week, shortly after it was forced to cancel thousands of flights for airplane maintenance. Dave Fleet discusses the airline’s response to its reputation crisis, and notes that JetBlue did a far better job after its big crisis last year when passengers were stranded in planes. “American Airlines, on the other hand, has done little in this area. It wasn’t until yesterday that CEO Gerard Arpey apologized for the debacle – three days after it started. Even then, as others have pointed out, he didn’t apologize for the inconvenience to customers, just for his failure to ensure safety standards are met. What’s more, his apology doesn’t appear anywhere on the American Airlines website.”

Speaking of Bad Pitches
The Bad Pitch Blog
When it comes to pitching, what’s the cardinal sin? According to Kevin Dugan, it’s pitching the editor in chief. Many PR pros learned this the hard way last year, when Chris Anderson of Wired called out dozens of flacks publicly for sending him lazy pitches. Kevin urges PR pros against using what he calls the “top down” approach. Instead, target your search to find the right person for your pitch. “The EIC is a busy person with many jobs, when they get your pitch they assume you want them to do your job. Odds are good they’re too busy and won’t. Don’t be lazy. If you’re searching an online
database for media outlets covering a specific topic, remember to take a couple of passes at honing the list. In addition to eliminating irrelevant media outlets and duplicates (some reporters cover online and print and are listed twice), be sure you have the right person at each outlet. Odds are (really) good it’s not the EIC.”

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