An Important Open Letter to the PR Industry From Jane Wells at CNBC

One of the most important rules of PR is to “know” the show or publication you are pitching otherwise you are just wasting your time and the time of producers or reporters with your inappropriate pitch.

When I was a producer for “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” we would get pitches that were clearly geared for “Jerry Springer” (or equally inappropriate) and yet the publicists were clueless to their professional faux pas and after I would politely field their pitch, they would respond with, “Well, I don’t have time watch your show because I work during the day.”

Well, even back then, publicists could tape the show and get a feel for the format.  Now, with so many online and digital media assets, there is no excuse for sloppy and untargeted pitching in my humble (and professional) opinion.

I saw this “Open Letter to the PR Industry” on LinkedIn from Jane Wells at CNBC and she’s lays it on the line so I thought I’d share it.

Jane Wells CNBCReprinted from LinkedIn:

“I receive so many random and useless pitches that I am now emailing back this generic response:

“Hey there,

“I get several pitches a day which have almost nothing to do with CNBC or my areas of coverage. I’m starting to send out this email to let you know when to pitch me a story, and when not to.

“At CNBC I cover defense, aerospace, agriculture, legal marijuana, Las Vegas, and the California economy. I do not cover real estate. I do not cover media. I do not cover technology.

For, I also do a franchise called Strange Success, which focuses on weird companies where the path to success has also been weird, and annual revenues have grown to at least $1 million. And by weird, I don’t mean a pizza business. I mean a business focusing on curing hangovers, life size sex dolls, getting rid of bathroom odor, where the creator of the business has had an odd path to success.

“I do not interview experts or authors. I interview CEOs, and for on-air, the CEO usually has to run a publicly traded company with annual revenues in excess of $500 million. I do not interview moms who are disrupting the playdate business, or 10-year-old whiz kids who’ve created a crazy new app.

“Please keep this in mind, so that we both save ourselves time and energy.

“Thank you.”

Jane Wells

So the next time you think that your pitch may be “the exception,” watch the show, listen to the broadcast, read the publication, or take a look at the blog.  Build relationships. Target pitches. Stop wasting time.  Yours and theirs.  Capisce?

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe



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