We get PR firms and/or heads of emerging companies calling us all the time to “pitch” a story idea to us. Most often we never get to the next step because the approach to us is so bad.
In many cases the people calling us with editorial ideas know nothing about our organization, our objectives or our audience, have not taken the time to visit our web site, have never tried to meet with us and have not really thought through why the idea they are “pitching” would be important to us or to our audience.
In one classic example of mis-managing a media contact, we were contacted by a PR firm to suggest we do a major article on one of their clients, a very important woman heading a major commercial real estate firm. It sounded like a really good opportunity for us and for our Garden State Woman readers. When the day came to do the phone interview with the woman executive the interview got off to a really rocky start with the woman obviously fumbling for her responses. Finally our interviewer asked, “Why do you want to be interviewed by Garden State Woman?” The answer stunned us, “I don’t know anything about Garden State Woman. I was just told to be prepared to be interviewed by a New Jersey women’s media company.” Our reported suggested politely that the interview be discontinued until the PR firm and their client had taken the time to learn about Garden State Woman. We never accepted another call from this firm again.