Come to the Bad Pitch Blog NYC Bash on January 12, 2009

Bad Pitch Blog

Mark your calendars if you’re in NYC Monday evening, January 12th. Richard and Kevin will be in NYC and are hoping you’ll meet up with us. If you need a reason, we’ll note it’s this blog’s third birthday.

PR People: Stop Being Bad at Stuff and Read This

Bad Pitch Blog

This entry by Nick Balkin, guest poster. Editor''s Note: Nick Balkin''s Twitter is located at @ nickbalkin. An earlier version of this post had the wrong username. Apologies for the confusion. Face it: you went into PR because you wanted to be a superstar.

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Basic Training - Preparing for the Road to a Public Relations Career

PR Job Coach

I love it when I receive questions from young inquiring minds. And normally it is folks just getting started in the public relations field. Never did I expect to see a question from an energetic person in high school who is anxious for success in our industry.

The Sky's the Limit. What do you want to do!

PR Job Coach

One of the advantages of the public relations field is that there are many components that allow you to generalize or specialize not unlike the medical field. I just received an inquiry from a student pondering the question of "what to do."

Study 135

When You Have Lemons, Make Lemonade

PR Job Coach

I recently heard from a young pro about a career predicament that likely occurs far too often. The job was not as advertised. Here is what this young pro had to say: "I need advice on which direction to go with my career. I graduated in 2008 BA in PR and four internships.

Survey 130

Mission Impossible? Migrating to a Career in Public Relations

PR Job Coach

Here is another guest blog of mine on Lindsay Olson''s site on migrating from a career in journalism to one in public relations. link] Being a public relations job coach, I am constantly advising folks about how best to manage and architect their growth as public relations professionals.

Digg 130

Pay it Back, Pay it Forward – A Moral Imperative - The Do's of Career Search Help

PR Job Coach

This is a guest blog that I penned for [link] , the blog site for search executive Lindsay Olson of Paradigm Staffing [link]. The blog is repeated here to convey the urgency of helping reduce unemployment by raising awareness of those who are gainfully employed to the plight of those who are not.

Web 112

WORST PITCH IN THE WORLD! (apologies to Keith Olbermann)

Bad Pitch Blog

Bad Email bad pitch Bland Flowers Dumb People Sponsorship Trends For 2009. Last August, I received what can only be classified as the worst pitch (and dumbest idea) (and most greedy letter) that I have ever gotten.

Three Ways to Suck Less in 2010

Bad Pitch Blog

Review Your 2009 Calendar: Before you toss out, archive or delete your 2009 calendar, spend some time walking through each month. Celebrate the mistakes you’ve already learned from in 2009. If you worked during this holiday week.thanks for closing out the decade with us.

Believe In Yourself; But Believe In Trends More

Bad Pitch Blog

We''re all looking for something to take us to a better place-workwise, that is. How do we do that? Follow trends. When you’ve got one example, it’s a “noticeable situation.” When you’ve got two examples, it’s a fact. And when you’ve got three examples—welcome to a trend.

The Blind? Deaf? Or Just Dumb Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

Bloggers send more than a few emails asking to be removed from a media list, we also send emails to PR people to tell them why a pitch doesn’t work for their blog – and perhaps what might work in the future. I rarely receive a response from these notes – which is unfortunate and yet telling.

The REAL Difference Between Journalists & Bloggers

Bad Pitch Blog

One of the more frequent questions asked of the Bad Pitch blog is “what’s the difference between pitching journalists and bloggers?” We used to assume that the main difference was that pitching bloggers requires hyper-customization.

A look at your personality: Try being one person

Bad Pitch Blog

In her book, " am*B H*ous ," Debra Condren says career-oriented women have to fight to get any work-life balance. Women, she claims, are constantly fighting to maintain separate personal and professional lives. Women feel there has to be a sweet spot!

The Interview Brief: A Bad Pitch How-To

Bad Pitch Blog

The pitch worked. The interview’s scheduled. Now the real work begins. We could arguably start “The Bad Interview Blog” with all the gaffes that can occur in this critical phase of media relations.

Adult Diapers “No Joke” Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

You know it: Market caps are messy! But why did Kate Ennis attempt to prove it without any real facts when writing to BusinessWeek to try and get them to write about the growth business of incontinence?

Five Crucial Tips for the Perfect Pitch Letter

Bad Pitch Blog

Pitch letters might be the most effective tool in your arsenal that you’re not using effectively.

Good Pitch: Sound Content Nets Podcast Placement

Bad Pitch Blog

Our latest good pitch comes from Tamara Gruber with Red Giant Consulting (alas, no relation to Macgruber , we checked). Her pitch is to some discerning, fellow PR colleagues – Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson of the For Immediate Release podcast.

Technology Changes, People Don’t

Bad Pitch Blog

After five years client side, it only took me a couple of weeks back in agency world to see how much had changed and how much hadn''t. Instead of detailing what I mean by the above passive-aggressive statement, I’d much rather remind our readers to not be blinded by "The Shiny New."

Know Yourself, Be Yourself for Better Pitches

Bad Pitch Blog

Last week, I had the blind luck to present right before Artie Isaac at SummitUp. If you don’t know Artie, you should. Artie Isaac co-founded SpeakerSite and the Young Isaac Agency.

Don't Get Cute With Naming

Bad Pitch Blog

By Guest Blogger Susan E. Jacobsen I recently came across a blog with relatively decent content, but with just the oddest of names -- Outhouse General Counsel. I had a hard time taking what the blogger wrote seriously because I kept getting caught up in the blog/company name.

Chris Brogan on Better Blogger Pitches

Bad Pitch Blog

Earlier this week one half of The Bad Pitch Blog kicked off SummitUp -- an event packed with great content, including presentations from Bob Garfield and Chris Brogan. The Bad Pitch Blog took advantage of this quality time to ask a few folks about how to improve the pitch.

Fast Five Links: Me Write Pretty One Day

Bad Pitch Blog

Here are some quick links to help you with your pitching efforts -- they all focus on writing. Don’t read into that though. 1) One Word One Word.com One word, sixty seconds. It’s a great creative exercise to keep your writing chops honed and your brain thinking.

Creativity Is What We Need Every Day

Bad Pitch Blog

Creativity is almost impossible to define. According to consumer-insight researchers at Lucid Incorporated, every person recognizes he or she has it, but its meaning varies widely.

The Axed Hack's Guide to Flacking: Are Journalists Meant For PR?

Bad Pitch Blog

I''ll get right to the point: PR is not the dark side any more. As a reporter for a plethora of publications in the hard-to-remember ''80s, I do recall titters from my colleagues when I defected to PR. I had to make more money and I couldn''t cope with holier-than-thou editors. I''d written for USA Today , New York Daily News , New York Times , Crain''s NY , Editor & Publisher , Us. and all I got was a T-shirt that said, "Someone read my article."

Jumping Off the Branding Bandwagon

Bad Pitch Blog

During the past decade everyone seemed to be—or pretended to be—in the business of branding. The majority of ad agencies, PR firms, Hollywood agents, management consultants, and even many focus group participants, jumped on the got-to-brand bandwagon with glee and abandon.

Brand 58

Damn It, Let's Get Those Metrics Going!

Bad Pitch Blog

Nielsen Media Research says they are measuring ratings for TV shows “regardless of the platform on which it is viewed.”

Bad Pitch Gets Vocal at Vocus Customer Event

Bad Pitch Blog

It’s one of the reasons Richard Laermer will be speaking at the 2009 Vocus Users Conference on the morning of June 5th in Washington, D.C. We’re a firm believer that it’s the techniques not the tools that cause PR spam.

The Spray and Pray Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

Begin forwarded message: Date: June 3, 2009 9:45:42 AM CDT The "Pull Out" Method Rivals Condoms? Spray and Pray, Dialing for Dollars. Both are mass pitch approaches that show more desperation than strategy.

Top 4 Ways Twitter Can Improve Your Pitches

Bad Pitch Blog

A little bird tells me that Twitter can reinforce habits that, in turn, can improve our media relations efforts. 1)Brevity. More effective writing translates into a lower word count. Hey, even this post was going to be a top 5 list. 140 characters force you to be on topic.

CRAP Holiday Tie-Ins Don’t Come with Receipts

Bad Pitch Blog

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…for bad pitches. Our email boxes have been stuffed with a few politically correct holiday cards and a metric ton of bad pitches desperately trying to tie-in to the KwanzmasHann season (yeah, I skipped Festivus, save it for the airing of the grievances).

Michael Jackson’s Dead: Now Comes the Mainstream Media’s Death

Bad Pitch Blog

Tough media week for superstar Michael Jackson. Imagine, your death being announced by TMZ. Horrors! Actually, I adore TMZ. It’s the one program and site that makes me laugh all the time. A lot of tabloids can learn from it. They should stop yelling at us.

BusinessWeek Sends a Good Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

Mark Your Calendars for May 31st, 2009. May 13, 2009, Los Angeles- It''s good to be a kid, and there’s no reason to stop eating like one. Proof that well-written, creative content can carry the day, a BusinessWeek reporter sent us this pitch from Alphadog PR.

The Death of the Sci Fi Channel: Or, Semper Sy Fy!

Bad Pitch Blog

When asked why 2009 was a downer, a spokesperson pointed to the carton: “Draw a line from there.” Just this morning the Sci Fi channel became Sy Fy , which you can be assured will be back as Sci Fi not long after that.

The Trap of Desperation Tactics

Bad Pitch Blog

Some say we’re out of the recession. But if you consider the number of people you know “in transition,” I’ll argue we’re still in a period of forced change.

"Go Do Your Job" Syndrome--and Invitation to Webinar

Bad Pitch Blog

It’s your first week on the job and you’ve managed to find the coffee, remember your cube neighbor’s name, and find your office without getting lost in the maze of hallways. But what about the job you were hired for?

MTV Editor Gets a (Bad) "Pitch in a Box"

Bad Pitch Blog

“I think that I shall never see, a media kit that doesn’t kill a tree.” With apologies to Joyce Kilmer , we were gearing down from Earth Day festivities when Tamar, a senior editor of MTV.com and the managing editor of the MTV Buzzworthy blog , dropped us a line.

The Bad Casual Pitch: What You *Never* Want To Be Caught Doing

Bad Pitch Blog

PR people can be really bad at their jobs. That’s the simple truth. But sometimes they are so horrible that they make us all look bad. At BPB we get a lot of crapitches (my word) sent for our edification and bewilderment.

TMZ Speed vs. CNN Credibility – Pick One

Bad Pitch Blog

Et tu, Richard? The hypocrisy I’m seeing around the Michael Jackson news story is laughable. But it’s not very original. We’ve heard this all before. What’s the motive behind declaring a winner and loser for who broke the story? Does it change the story?

Have Balls; Mortgage Will Follow!

Bad Pitch Blog

'I’ve been hearing a lot of people tell me they won’t do anything gutsy: Friends advising me against certain actions cause someone might react poorly (as if anyone’s paying attention); colleagues warning they think everything should be on pause while the economy recapitulates; partners saying no to events because they think it could hurt their “personal brand” (whatever that latest cliché means); and clients who feel their dulled-out partners might “get mad” over an overly-aggressive PR campaign (their partners couldn’t get press on their own though). Then I’ve overheard many suffering financially tell me they are waiting out this period to see what happens in a kind of take it “day by day” attitude that emits this kind of what will be will be or it is what it is or what can I do but wait and see b t. Hey everyone; guess what? The chips have now fallen … so go get some off the floor! Laziness equals self-importance during a crap economy. If you think somehow things will magically change overnight –look Ma, Dow moved a notch—then you live in a fantasy land and the faster you wake up and stop paying attention to the Gosselins and DO SOMETHING the better it is for and your bank statement. Having balls are at issue. The only way to get anything done worth doing is to take risks. No chance taken is wasting precious energy (same old same old sucks); you aren’t doing much to upgrade your position in life. Dare I say: it will help your personal brand? There is no better time to stand up and say, “Let’s try that ridiculous idea in the office” (and in your personal life too, imagine) than this goddamn second. It IS that simple. If you look at our nation’s checkered history, all the fine successes that came up during Down Periods were when companies, the government or individuals said screw it let’s do it and went head-first to partake of the nuttiest, “over-the-toppest,” and most outrageous thing they could think of in their wildest, and least expensive, dreams. Must I tell you why? First, no one is paying attention to you anyway. Everyone is so darn turned inward right now that to get any attention you have to be shouting from a multitude of rooftops (see The Rules below). Your clients/friends/lovers/associates/bosses/enemies could care less if you’re loud or noisy do because they’re ultimately worried about their own skin. They’ll appreciate you had the chutzpah to make a thing happen when they cannot. (Well, they won’t admit that to you but you’ll sense it.) As for trouble gathering, it’s like the old saying that I will now make NEW: If it makes you feel good… do it! There is a big group of workers doing a great noiseless job Covering Their Asses—they worry about their jobs more than doing their jobs. You know the ones: they act like wallpaper and hope to G-d no one notices they’re still there because they just do what they are told. Never make waves, always seem to be on the side of zero activity. Those people are useless. And I know you aren’t one. Alas, making money in a gargantuan recession is tough; there is not a ton of money for companies to spend. Ah but…when the dust settles ones who excelled with their heart will be remembered; the CYAers whose heads were down will be despised. With that, I offer The 5 Rules For “Balsiness” In These Bad Times : 1. Be consistent, be yourself You know, I never thought I’d say this, but you got to hand it to Ex-VP Cheney. He never veers from who he is—even when it’s dastardly! The other day he was asked about the torturing he oversaw and said he wouldn’t take back the decision even if rendered unlawful. That’s an attitude many of us can learn from: not the position he’s taken, but the feeling that what he believes in is not swayable and you can’t make him take it back. In these times that kind of resoluteness is respected. 2. Rule the roost somehow Find something that you can do at work that no one else can do and MAKE SURE it’s obvious that you are doing it—and well, and a lot of it, and with glee. Oh, and it helps if this is not part of your job! This is not kissing butt; it’s just finding a new way to be useful above and over the norm. Then, when you want to do something outrageous like I’m about to describe, more people will think “Yeah him.” 3. Find the loudest perch--and make noise from atop the thing Come up with a statement that is contrarian to the popular view (like “I hate candy!”) and then get known for it. I’m serious. 4. Think up something fantastic When you’re falling asleep at night and something weird but doable occurs to you, jump up and type it out on your PDA. Once you determine what you were trying to say, it will be a better idea in the morning. Then that germ of an idea has to be something you talk about with lots of folks. Shift your energy—daydreams and small talk – and get collaborative in a real sense. Don’t be competitive; be outright damning to anyone who thinks it is a bad idea. Remember that if everyone likes it there’s something wrong with the idea—someone has to hate it (it’s the law). And don’t let it get murdered by Committee Think, Inc. 5. Be Known as a Bit of a Trouble Maker (Key Words “Bit Of”) Why not? Show off a little. They’re going to talk about you anyway. So in order to wreak havoc, make waves. It’s good to be remembered, particularly since the layoffs are not over, no matter what the economists (wrong) say. Trouble is healthy and yet more common in headier times. These days with so many scaredy-cats working at their desks, someone with some verve/gusto will stand out as someone to KNOW. Everyone may be mad at K West, but his tour went on sale Friday and it’s nearly sold out. Trouble? Yeah. T for paycheck. And don''t forget: this thinking can help in pursuit of late-night activities too. Bottom line is there is no bottom line. There is no energy or gumption or newness in almost every industry. But you – you! - have one superb idea that is rambunctious and in line with how people are feeling—you can feel its ingeniousnes. I bet you could get others to participate in it, since, uh, they don’t have much going on besides award shows, tweeting, and fantasy football! You got to be the guy who stands up in middle of a dull meeting and says what are we doing here? As my pal Sally Hogshead, author of “Radical Careering” and a marketing expert who doesn’t demur, says: “Never allow the size of your mortgage to exceed the quality of your work!” Remember you have to secure buy-in from everyone you work with. Way to get something going is to sell it, baby. Believe in the idea to such a degree that those whose normal M.O. is to naysay lunch orders might even go “You know! That dude knows what he is talking about.” Be passionate, have your talking points at the ready, and explain what the agreeable colleague will get for going along. Show them what positivity/money/affirmation will occur should the idea become reality. Make it seem like they co-crafted it by writing down input. Like a Broadway producer once told me: “Never tell prospective investors the production is finished.” If the ones who pay you paltry cash tell you “no you didn’t” cause you a) took a stand; b) went a little overboard with messaging or c) began to tell it like it is (“Our industry is slow-as-crap and it’s time to rush things,”) then you got to find better payers. Maybe say what I do when someone says to me, Well we should discuss this internally before it goes any further: “Yeah I get it. It’s all good. Would you have the person that replaces you call me?” Twitter @laermer. Bad Pitch Blog Balls ballsiness buy-in CYA Kanye West Laermer.com meetings messaging PR in harsh times Punk Marketing taking risks'

Bad Pitch's Shortest Post Ever: Why We Love PR!

Bad Pitch Blog

We Love The PR Biz. .Simply, Simply, because of all it can do for you! 1. Get people nationwide clamoring for your wares, turning your local father and son shop into a national, never neglected, constantly referenced, known everywhere, mega brand. 2.