Five ways for PR people to make tech journalist’s lives easier

Leverage. Tech-savvy. Curating. Phenomenon. These are a few randomly-picked words that will make someone’s brain stop mid-sentence. In fact, just read a pitch and imagine you’re talking to a 12-year-old who might care a little about what you’re doing but owes you nothing. That’s about the attention span you can expect from a blogger or reporter who is getting 300-500 emails a day.

Several years ago I got an absolutely wretched pitch from a PR person, and rather than just deleting it and moving on, I critiqued it and sent it back to him. Apparently he fired it up the chain of command to the company CEO, who cc:’d me (accidentally, it turned out) and complained that “this is why we never pitch to the Mac press, those people are too picky.”

So it’s worth pointing out that a lousy pitch isn’t always the PR person’s fault. There’s often pressure on them from above, from some pointy-haired manager’s office (include the CEO’s) to bury their lead in the weeds of buzzwords and industry jargon.

Still, good food for thought for PR people looking to more effectively hone their craft. (And, worth noting, put on my radar from one of my favorite commies in the business.)

  • I’ve received emails from PR companies where after reading the entire, long-winded email, I still have no idea what the hell they’re pitching. I did understand that the CEO of the company they were pitching was available to discuss it, though.


  • GTWilson

    This is why I toy with renaming my trash folder, “Possible opportunities to synergize and affect my bottom line”

    Only thing stopping me is the 13″ laptop display.

  • “Too picky.” I’d love to know what crap that CEO was responsible for littering the world with.

    • Peter Cohen

      Some world class enterprise software that enhanced synergies and actualized…something.

  • Steven Fisher

    (Puzzled Fry.) Not sure if protecting the guilty or trying to avoid giving them free publicity.

    • Peter Cohen

      Avoiding giving free publicity, and honestly, I’ve put it out of my head long enough that I can’t remember anymore. All I’m sure of is that their product didn’t succeed very well and I don’t think they’re still supporting the Mac.

      • Steven Fisher

        Yeah, when a company blows it that badly I’m expecting they don’t care about free publicity years later.

  • Glen Turpin

    Eliminating corporate bafflegab is one of my life-long missions. Unfortunately, I doubt the mission will be completed in my lifetime.