Single most essential PR pitching tip

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

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Prior to embarking on a speaking and writing career, I was VP marketing and PR for several public companies. Boy oh boy have I done my share of pitching. So I know what it is like when you have something interesting that you just want to share with the world.

I'm now on the other side. I receive pitches. Lots of pitches. Most of them suck.

I write for the Huffington Post. I am a contributing editor at EContent Magazine. I write a marketing blog. I write a blog about Apollo artifacts. I write books too.

As a result, I receive hundreds of pitches a week. Most of them are wholly ineffective. Usually that’s because people pitch me about things I don’t write about

(For example, although it may be awesome, I am just not interested in: Wavien, Inc. Introduces 16" DPR Lamp Platform Producing Improved Screen Brightness for 3D Cinema Applications.)

But even when I'm sent something related to the topics I write about, the pitches are usually product pitches. With rare exceptions like when I raved about Layar, I just don't write about products.

Discussions with other journalists I know suggest very few of us write about products.

So here's the single most essential media and blogger pitching tip for PR people

Don't pitch your product.

Most journalists don't care about products.

Tell us how your organization solves problems for customers.


Bonus tip.

When I walk a tradeshow floor, if I become interested in learning about a particular company, I walk up to the nearest booth rep and ask: "What problems do you solve for your customers?"

Believe it or not, some booth reps get flustered and can't answer the question.

Make certain if you exhibit as part of your marketing efforts that your people can answer this.

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