2008

Bad Pitches, Good Holidays

Bad Pitch Blog

We’d be remiss if we let the holidays pass without wishing everyone in the Bad Pitch blog universe a Happy Holidays. Let’s kick 09 in the arse, ok? For those of you who frequent the Young PR Pros list, you’ll know there’s another sheriff in town over there. Greg Brooks is now a co-moderator. He penned the piece below and was kind enough to let us re-post it here. Enjoy. Twas the night before Christmas And all through the world Santa was thinking about flack boys and girls.

This Goose is Cooked Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

We''re not sure if we''re outing this person or giving them a Presidential pardon like they do for one lucky Thanksgiving turkey. But when someone asked the Bad Pitch Blog to review a children''s book, we weren''t sure if we should laugh or cry. Hello. I''d like to let you know about Flightless Goose, a new full-color, hardcover story book for children being released this month by PUBLISHER.

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Fast Five Q&A with Adweek’s Digital Editor, Brian Morrissey

Bad Pitch Blog

Anyone following Brian Morrissey on Twitter may assume he hates PR people. I’m here to tell you he doesn’t. He does hate PR spam. As digital editor at Adweek, he gets a ton of it. After seeing him out a bad pitch this morning, I sent him a note asking for his help in reducing PR spam. He was kind enough to oblige by doing this Q&A. Morrissey is also a multitasker.

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Getting Ahead of the Story, Volume 1000

Bad Pitch Blog

As the CEO of a PR agency, I can’t even tell you how many potential clients ask “Do I really need PR?” Usually I just answer with a simple and slightly aggravated “Why Yes!” Today, however, I will answer with an example of what a smart, finely crafted and well-timed PR campaign (with strategy) can do. The past few months we have seen historically vilified Microsoft attempt to take the current underdog, Yahoo, over with a slow hand.

Harness the Power of Influencers and Advocates

Learn how to find and use influencers and advocates to gain buyer's trust on your behalf.

Typos Are A Big, Hairy Problem

Bad Pitch Blog

Typos are painful. They can even be career-ending. Michael Allison points us to one so funny it’s inspiring a Bad Pitch Blog contest. In the comments below, leave your best, one-line response to this job description that’s running on Monster.com. The winner(s) will be announced next week and receive fame and some swag. one of the) Best Typos Evah uploaded by prblog tags | public relations | PR | typo

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Fast Five Links: Fight for the Write

Bad Pitch Blog

Writing is one of the most critical skills in public relations. And let''s face it, everyone’s writing can improve. Here are some tips to keep your words working for you and not against you. 1) Word of the Day | Daily Writing Tips The odds of referencing a pyrrhic victory in a pitch is slim at best. But the more words you know the more options you have. And sometimes a story calls for a 50-cent word.

You Have To Care—and yet do you really?

Bad Pitch Blog

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” -Peter Drucker In Outliers , the outstanding Gladwell book about how we get successful, there is a terrific section towards the end on societies who take more time with their work; they “have to care” about what they do or they will FAIL. Which leads me to: Does anyone care about what they do these days? I’m not trying to b h here –okay, a little – but it’s obvious that the U.S.

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And They Say Reporters Don’t Care…

Bad Pitch Blog

The NY Time s’ Saul Hansell dropped us a line about bad pitches recently. Of course we had to share: - My biggest problem with pitches is that at least half the ones I get, I can''t understand what the company does or what the pitch is about. Often, the pitch is so wound up trying to define some sort of cute trend the company fits into that they don''t actually give the who-what-where-when. And too many pitches use such obscure jargon, that they are impenetrable.

This is NOT a Pitch

Bad Pitch Blog

A news release is not a pitch. Well, neither is this intro I just received. Dear Mr. Kevin Dugan, Please consider the press release below for publication in an upcoming issue, either on-line or in print. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks in advance for your consideration. Some things evidently are worth repeating as we’ve talked about the need for pitches before.

Top 15 Free PR Ideas to Grow Your Online Business

You've got a great idea, you've built your killer team, and you've maybe even gone through the first round or two of funding.

Old Journalism’s Demise.Good News For Us!

Bad Pitch Blog

I am writing to you from 35,000 feet where American and something badly branded as Gogo Inflight has granted me 12 buck access to the Internet. I mean, welcome to the 2000''s, right? Today the New York Times announced another 500 cut from the payroll - and honey they shrunk the sections! Last month the SacBee hit some 75 percent of their folks. And a huge layoff happened just now at the St Petersburg daily. What''s it mean?

Insane Hack on Flack Action

Bad Pitch Blog

Woah, this is pure Friday fodder. From an anonymous source, we get the following exchange between a PR person we''ll call FLACK and a travel writer we''ll call HACK. We''ve changed names to protect the innocent and the insane. We join our story as FLACK is beginning to question whether or not HACK is really a member of the fourth estate. We assume reviews/stories were promised in exchange for complimentary hotel stays.

Richard (Edelman) Represents

Bad Pitch Blog

We were working on a post called, “Ode to Jason Calacanis.” It’s more of a poem really…using lots of colorful, urban language, including words that rhyme with “brother trucker.” Luckily Richard Edelman made our rant poem moot with this post.** "I am heartily sick of the ad hominem attacks and cheap shots taken by those who would try to draw attention to themselves. snip snip Edelman shows us THE best way to respond to a p **g match – with authority. He also hits upon why we started this blog.

Take 30 Seconds to Read!!

Bad Pitch Blog

Here’s a story of a lovely lady — who is so pissed off she turned to me to vent! Richard,” she wrote. Here’s a really stupid email pitch.” What she meant: What’s wrong with this woman? First, the pitch – which I have to say is about the dumbest I’ve seen in many months, so her name is left in (sorry Kev): [Brackets mine.] And I got to say this is the first bad pitch about cake, which I did not think was possible, since I''m all about the sweets in life!

How to “Kill It” During Your Next Big Change

When it comes to change communication, employees need your help to understand what’s happening. Use these four steps to help employees navigate change.

Bad Pitch, Good Dog

Bad Pitch Blog

This is Sam, our unofficial mascot. Before going to that big kennel in the sky, he was considered the world’s ugliest dog. We''re not questioning this honor. A more informative, and attractive, breed would be the Bulldog (Reporter). We''re excited to note that The Bulldog Reporter just added our feed to their Daily Dog web site. We are also relieved they did not ask us to swap out Sam as mascot for a Bulldog to help reinforce their brand.

Man Bites Dog: Newspapers Outlive Themselves, Blissful Ignorance Becomes Artform

Bad Pitch Blog

News came last week that the Old Grey Lady is starting an Instant Op-Ed feature online. This new technology will "allow the paper''s Web site to post immediate expert viewpoints on breaking news," said Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal. Thank you, New York Times. I am now completely keyed in to why your stock has dropped so heavily. I mean, golly, imagine. Now for the first time, I can get Maureen Dowd''s opinion on something before tomorrow''s paper comes out!

Do you send e-mail or FAIL-mail?

Bad Pitch Blog

Just got an e-mail as a follow-up to one sent to me yesterday. Evidently I cover Anime**. And evidently I fall into one of the gajillion email groups this person created for contacting Anime media. Both emails list the following groups in the TO: field. I''ve bolded my favorites.

Tools 40

How This All Got Started*

Bad Pitch Blog

We were cleaning out the archives and found our back story –- how the Bad Pitch blog was born. Cue squiggly lines and narrator’s voice… - The seeds for the Bad Pitch Blog were planted in 1995 when the book “Toxic Sludge is Good for You,” used some specific events to discredit the entire public relations industry. This book did not sit well with Kevin Dugan.

Bad Pitch Outrage

Bad Pitch Blog

We sometimes find ourselves posting about topics that seem more like common freakin’ sense than the finer points of media relations. A standout has been when we’ve talked about and even poked fun at pitches trying to tie their story to current events – no matter how macabre it might seem. So we’ll merely link to this news release so you can see how horribly tasteless, opportunistic and insensitive people can be in this world.

Really?!

Bad Pitch Blog

We''re sorting through tons of mail and we have some decent posts brewing. But today was noteworthy as one pitch in particular made the rounds. It was not the only bad pitch out there. But as I reviewed it I was inspired to single it out and pay homage to the SNL skit Really?! with Seth and Amy. A blog pitch. Really?! Not merely a pitch to a blog, but a pitch about a blog to a blog?! Really?! Did you send the pitch to your blog as well or was it implied that your boss would link to himself?

Glinda the Good Pitch is Back! (Thanks to Carol Blymire)

Bad Pitch Blog

We’re all about pitches, good and bad. To prove it, we created Glinda the Good Pitch back in the day. But our badge of dishonor Slick has always gotten more air time. It’s a simple case of supply and demand folks. So we were ecstatic when we started receiving emails from Carol Blymire. Carol Blymire has been copying us on emails for a few months now as she tries to engage PR people about bad pitches sent her way. Carol runs the blog French Laundry at Home.

Why Do PR People Bother With Insolent Clients? I Mean, Really

Bad Pitch Blog

I know what you’re thinking: Here he goes, another high-powered PR exec complaining about crappy customers. Guess what? That’s what this is. I’ve heard it said innumerable times how our jobs would be magnificent—were it not for the clients. During a recession (welcome to it, dude) there is no better time to live that motto. I’ve been thinking, and laughing, lately about the way people’s expectations have shot up in ways that are mind-blowing. Gee whiz.

Print 40

Facebook ? Email Marketing

Bad Pitch Blog

Anyone else getting a ton of junk email/invites/notifications on Facebook? Maybe it’s just a sign of age, or soc net fatigue, but I created a short video that offers a guideline** for sending email/invites/notifications on Facebook. The video is not about any one person or a specific group. It’s the inspiration of several efforts over time. ** It bugs me when someone (myself included) posts “rules” about the next shiny new object. We’re still figuring this stuff out.

Are PR Tools Bad Form?

Bad Pitch Blog

Services like HARO bring us dozens of media leads in a single email. Press Release Grader evaluates our news releases to make sure they’re tweaked to deliver top online performance. PitchEngine and the news wires help push these releases to the world while Newsvetter delivers our pitches to media via its opt-in network. And online media databases bring us more names and outlets to pitch as even more online tools track and measure the fruits of our labors.

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PR, Politics & The Politics of PR

Bad Pitch Blog

Last month Kevin said something that stuck with me: Let’s not be partisan on the blog. It was when I was going to go all Barack on you guys…saying how people had to stop saying how Barry’s Win was a fait accompli. This was just before the convention so I’m glad I didn''t bother. Naturally, I digress. The fact is—Kevin’s right, this is not a place for me to come down on any one side because, a little sincerity here, for the last 2.5

Help a Reporter Out and Bad Pitch Blog? OMG we’re like BFF!

Bad Pitch Blog

Peter Shankman and I spoke to a sliver of HARO’s near 30,000 members yesterday about better media relations. A flood of new folks are reading Bad Pitch Blog as a result, so I thought I’d post our top 20 posts according to AideRSS as a helpful review. The posts are from 2007 and 2008 so it looks like the content here is getting better. Ready to Pitch a Blog? Take This Quiz First PR People Suck!

Bad Pitch Crime Fighters

Bad Pitch Blog

Guhmshoo immortalized the Bad Pitch Blog! Now if only my right hand spit fire like that.sigh. More of his work is here. Thanks Guhmshoo! Speaking of banding together to fight the good fight, I added links to our Twitter pages and our Facebook page in the sidebar below. If you want to follow us on these other sites, make with the clicky. Bad Pitch Crime Fighters uploaded by Xanboozled tags | public relations | PR | media relations | media | good pitch | bad pitch | bad pitch blog | guhmshoo

Samsung, Westinghouse Digital, Dotster -- STOP Doing Business with Lois Whitman, Michael Ingalls and HWH PR

Bad Pitch Blog

Some PR pros may not fully realize the level of responsibility they have to their clients. When you represent a client, your actions reflect their brand. And it’s with this knowledge that I wrote the title to this post. We’re giving HWH PR a Bad Pitch Blog Lifetime Achievement Award for turning client news releases into PR spam for more than two years. HWH PR was also the first agency to be outed as a group.

We're baaack!

Bad Pitch Blog

Did you miss us? It''s been more than two weeks since we posted here. What can we say, the dog ate our password. Actually an “over eager Blogger spam attack robot from hell” thought our blog was "one of those" types of blogs. As a result, we have not been able to post to the blog since Monday, August 4, 2008. A Blogger employee finally took pity on us and jimmied the lock. This mix up is all the funnier when you consider we’re trying to stop spam…not promote it.

Vote for Bad Pitch Blog in PRWeek's Blog Competition

Bad Pitch Blog

Keith O''Brien just announced a PR Week best blog competition. In doing so he pits 32 industry blogs against each other -- tournament style. Vote for the Bad Pitch blog. Click here, then click on our name to vote before end of day, Tuesday, August 5th. We''re up against Voce Communications'' Voce Nation blog. The Voce team provides stiff competition. It''s all the more noteworthy considering that drawn out loitering trial Mike Manuel was embroiled in.

New Logo, Same Old (ugly) Blog

Bad Pitch Blog

Some fun is coming in the next few days. And before the rumble begins, we are finally putting up our new blog logo. Design credit goes to Nick Kastner

Fast Five Q&A With BusinessWeek Senior Writer Stephen Baker

Bad Pitch Blog

Happy August. Today''s post is a peek into the thoughts of BusinessWeek''s Stephen Baker (who has been with the magazine for one astounding 21-year tenure!). Baker is one of the New York technology reporters for BusinessWeek; he began to report on tech in Paris (Rue Oswaldo Cruz, 16th ar.) as European correspondent in 1998 smack in middle of the dot calm boom. He came to New York in 2002 as acting senior editor for info tech, and is now a senior writer — also tech.