Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pitches with magical thinking

I've been a journalist, then a successful communicator who's fed ideas and leads to journalists in turn. But now that I'm also a blogger--with two blogs I author and more to which I contribute--my freedom from pitches with magical thinking has come to an end. 

I don't think this is retribution. My work in media relations followed the lead of the mentor who coaxed me away from journalism, who told me, "Just do for reporters what you wish someone had done for you on the other end of the phone when you were a reporter."  That boiled down to respecting deadlines, sharing topics relevant to the reporter's topics and interests, being ready and responsive when they had questions or requests, and not wasting their time otherwise.

But alas, no matter how I wish them away, pitches with magical thinking like these keep coming at me:
  • Off-topic pitches sent to me with the stated reason "You have so many fans on your Facebook page that we thought it would be the perfect way to promote our event." 
  • Pitches that don't fit my audience demographics, for the same reason--"they're so numerous, they must want to hear about this," even if it's for the wrong geographic area, gender, age group or professional interest.
  • The more-is-better theory of pitching:  "You wrote about this other book we published and so we thought you'd like to write about this one" that has no (or distant) relation to my topics or audiences.
  • More-is-better, part 2:  "You requested information from us before and so we've now put you on several email lists" without my requesting same.
  • The magical timing pitch:  "Our meeting/event/anniversary is coming up so you should cover this now."
  • "Your blogs are so visible."  Oh, honestly.
It's been said before, but some good old-fashioned research first might have kept these pitches out of the realm of the magical and into my (or someone else's blog) with less wasted effort.  Time, methinks, to get a sorting hat for these....

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