One of the most important tenets for good media relations involves putting ourselves in the shoes of the journalist from whom we hope to elicit interest in our clients’ “news.” Two terms describe the PR process: “pitching” and “placing.” I never liked either (but who am I to talk given the name of this blog!) Nonetheless, the act of “pitching” sounds like a used car sales pitch, while “placing” a story implies that the “target” (another unfortunate word) journalist had little say in the story query’s editorial fate. One “places” an ad, not a news story.
Hence, the release issued on PR Web this week promoting one “Mr. Pitch” and accompanied by a Joe Isuzu-type caricature simply rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, we all could use a hand in improving the quality of our journalistic overtures, but if I were on the receiving end of a pitch by Mr. Pitch, I’d balk.