7 pitching behaviors on reporters’ holiday wish lists


It’s time for the holidays, and everyone is trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone.

For PR pros, there’s no group more special than reporters. Have you thought about what they might like to receive this year?

Here are some items on their pitch wish lists:

1. Fewer throwaway pitches. Journalists see far too many “nuisance” pitches—if you don’t believe it, just ask.

Pitches that are about the latest product feature, related to a geographic area out of their coverage area or about topics they don’t even cover are annoying. When you pitch a reporter, make it count. Have real news on a topic that they actually write about.

2. Pitches that get to the point. When you pitch, get to the point already. No one has time to read volumes of information to try to decipher the story idea you’re trying to convey.

State the idea in the first sentence—and don’t forget the subject line. Consider using bullet points with data or other compelling information that will grab their attention. If they want more, they’ll ask.

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3. Customized pitches. Don’t send the same pitch to 100 reporters and expect good results.

Customize your pitch to a reporter’s beat. Personalize it, too—and for goodness sake, spell their names correctly.

4. Pitches with correct spelling and grammar. Though some PR pros think, “Spelling doesn’t really count,” it does.

Your pitch can be dismissed in the blink of an eye if there are misspelled words and poor grammar. If you were weeding through numerous email pitches each day, wouldn’t a poorly composed pitched with misspellings and grammatical errors be easier to delete than one that reads well?

One reporter I know says she’ll look past these errors if there’s really something there—but that’s magnanimous of her. Many reporters feel these errors are grounds for immediate dismissal by way of hitting the delete key.

5. Banishment of cold calls. Reporters hate them.

Don’t cold call unless you absolutely must. Make it the exception, not the rule.

6. Consideration of their deadlines. Remember, reporters are on deadline. When you promise to get information to them by 3 p.m., do it. Use common sense and be respectful of their time constraints.

7. A thank you. Thank them for their time. It’s more valuable than many understand. It’s also common courtesy to say, “Thank you.”

You can also “like” a piece they wrote or a share something of theirs on social media that’s not about your client. That builds relationships.

Happy holidays! Don’t forget those reporters in your life this year. Follow these tips and they may keep you off their “naughty” lists.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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Frugal Holiday Entertaining with CVS #CVSDayInTheLife (Sponsored)

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Holiday Entertaining with CVS

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the Day in the Life campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

I love the holiday season for many reasons. It’s a period when we spend more time with our family and loved ones, and it gives us the opportunity to catch up and just enjoy one another’s company. I get a kick out of entertaining during this time of year and inviting everyone over. I think in my former life, I was a Hostess with the Mostess.

I enjoy decorating and cooking and coming up with games and fun things for us to do, but it can sometimes be costly. So I look to stores and brands that will allow me to still throw an fun and memorable fete without breaking the bank. There’s no reason why this mama has to spend a mint to throw a party.

Gold Emblem CVS snacks

CVS has become a staple during my party prep routine for my holiday get-togethers. Their Gold Emblem, Gold Emblem abound, and Total Home brands are high quality, but don’t cost as some of the others, so I can use the savings for other things. Just about everything you need is available at your local CVS store. Serving goods like paper plates and plasticware are always at the lowest price, plus you can score snacks like that your guests won’t be able to get enough of. Pretty much everything you need can be found at CVS and their Gold Emblem, Gold Emblem abound, and Total Home labels.

Don’t believe me, just watch (the quick video below to see just what I found at my local CVS store):

Holiday entertaining with CVS is a breeze, and I can save time and money by shopping there. Talk about win/win!

Add to that additional savings from their weekly circular ads and sales and you will sure to be able to throw an amazing holiday shindig that you can be proud of.

Here are a few quick holiday entertaining tips to make your next event epic:

Be Our Guest

If you are serving food, buffet style can really help take the hard work out of it, since everyone serves themselves. And you don’t have to have a massive spread either—just a few selections that will go over well for your guests.

Digital Invites

You can use Facebook or Evite to send digital invites to those you want to invite to your event. Cuts down on stamp costs, and people are more likely to reply to them online.

Prepackaged Snacks

Packaged snacks and goodies are an excellent way to help keep your guests happy. Use decorative bowls and platters to serve them and viola!

So, now that you have the scoop of holiday entertaining with CVS, I hope you will visit your local store before your next event. What are your tips for throwing a fun and festive holiday party?

CVS brands

The Cubicle Chick