The 10 Biggest PR Pitch Pet Peeves, According to a Seasoned Freelancer
If you want coverage, don't make these mistakes.
With most brands comes a PR team, either in house and/or a PR agency, and with that comes a group of people whose job it is to gain editorial or social media coverage. That means the relationship between PR pros and freelance writers is an important one. The last thing a writer needs is for their time to be wasted, so if you're looking for coverage, avoid making the following mistakes.
1. Sending out numerous blast pitches to the same writer time and time again
Email blasts are annoying, and most of the time they're dull, dumbed-down and sloppy. I want something that makes me feel like I'm reading something that's geared towards my readers and I; not to a fifth-grader and their friends.
2. Not proofreading your pitch beforehand
No, I don't want to be called by the wrong name, nor do I want to waste my time deciphering what you mean. Writing for high-profile publications means I receive hundreds of pitches in my inbox every day, and I don't have the time to try to put together two-plus-two. As a publicist, your message should be concise and easy on the eyes.
3. Assuming freelancers are just bloggers with no editorial standards
You're joking right? My editor will see this, and I hope that they laugh. What is Entrepreneur, your personal blog now? If you want a blog and or low-quality blog-like content, you're more than welcome to seek that out, but that's not the type of writing I do.
4. Pestering me for a response when I'm away from email for a few hours and then ghosting me
Imagine me having a life and not always being on my devices; I will get to you when I get to you, mostly the same day, and if not, as soon as possible. If we talk, and then you ghost me, it puts a sour taste in my mouth as a writer, and it shows me that I can't trust you as a publicist. If you found someone else from the publication to write the article, telling me would be better than ghosting me.
Related: 5 Golden Benefits of PR
5. Wanting your client to write the article instead of me
I'm the writer here; not your client. A writer and their editors know the publication and what works for it best.
6. Not knowing which publication you're pitching me for
If you've read my most recent stuff, you'd notice that I've been contributing to Entrepreneur more than any other platform recently. I'm also pretty active on social media, where I share links to my recent writing. Although I'm more than happy to clarify for you, it's irritating when you don't check out my most recent work before coming to me with a pitch.
7. Pitching all the writers from the same website
This can cause major confusion, because pitching writers who don't know each other, as well as editors, means multiple writers could end up pursuing the same story. Stick to either an editor and or one writer who you know well, and you might have a better chance at getting your pitch turned into an article.
8. Pitching me last-minute for content that should've been pitched ahead of time
No writer or editor can pull content out of thin air for you, no matter how big their team is. I can't get a roundup for the Super Bowl out in two days. I can work under tight deadlines though; you just need to pitch accordingly so my editors have time to, you know, edit.
9. Not understanding that I'm just the writer, not the editor
I can only do so much, and if you want a say with my editor, I will be more than happy to put you two in touch. I can't guarantee anything, so for clarification purposes, please, talk to my editor. Don't pressure me into guaranteed coverage, because I can't do that for you.
10. Sending me a pitch, inviting me to a relevant event, and then never following up
Do you want your content or not? Because with the amount of pitches that I get, I need to allocate my time among emails, personal life and writing. I can't follow up for you; you're the publicist that invited me to the event, and a thanks for coming to the event would be nice.
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