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I enjoyed your post and can't imagine anyone disagreeing with you that there is a significant portion of the PR industry (for lack of a better term) that has no business doing press outreach or representing any brand/client to the public for that matter. That said, the tips above are pretty much table stakes at this point. I have no doubt that if everyone followed those steps alone the collective reputation of PR people around the world would immediately see a boost and journalists would cry unicorn tears of joy as a result of hundreds fewer emails every day.
But even more than improving email etiquette and doing basic research, the PR function (meaning all of us) really needs to get better at basic communication. Why does something matter, how is it relevant to the journalist's beat, what is the opportunity being presented (journos don't want to rewrite press releases; it's a necessary evil but but they hate it). I'm not sure when it became acceptable to simply blast out bits of seemingly unrelated information and pray that something sticks, but the fact that most PR people lack a basic understanding of how to construct a story is sad and pathetic.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but it probably has something to do with agencies training better. A creative writing course here and there wouldn't hurt either. Anyway, thanks for starting the discussion. Hopefully one day soon we'll all be able to talk about how things have improved...
10 months ago on I Hate PR People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media
This says more about digital advertising than format, IMO. When most millenials say "print-like" experience, my guess is they are really saying they want content unencumbered by distracting advertising. Text isn't going away, but video and "slideshow reporting" will continue to grow and grow. Unfortunately, many publishers still don't understand that presentation matters, which is why many prefer to consume their content through a third-party aggregator that presents it wrapped in a nicer UI (see Flipboard, Pocket, etc.).
11 months, 4 weeks ago on Told you so: Stop trying to fix the article; it’s not broken