Written on 1st April, City A.M.'s office politics contributor Elena Shalneva penned every awful pitch made by PR consultants.
Whilst tongue in cheek and in spirit of April Fools Day, I suspect it is grounded in the reality of being on the receiving end of the PR pitch.
PRs in professional services firms generally have it easier than those working for 'me too' tech companies or questionable consumer brands. Journalists, more often or not, will welcome a well timed pitch offering insight or commentary. But the rules remain the same.
1. Do your homework. Read a title first before making a pitch.
2. Relationships. Try and build relationships with a few really well placed journalists, rather than spray and pray.
3. Put yourself in the reader's shoes. Will they honestly want to read what you're offering?
4. Email first. If its a really good pitch a journalist will respond.
5. And if you really must chase, choose your timing.
Dear features editor of City A.M., As you are well aware, next Monday, the world will be celebrating the International Day of Happiness. This is the day when obscure consultancies such as ours get promptly on their marks and fire off a barrage of press releases about various “people development” products. These products are meant to make people happy, you see. I am not sure if you are interested in this kind of stuff, as I don't really read your newspaper. But I plucked your address from a database, because my boss told me to blast this message to as many journos as possible.