It’s easy to see why so many PR execs are on editors’ “naughty” lists. Brands want a shot at top-tier coverage connected to the biggest buying season of the year. But pitches that feel stale or have only a superficial connection to the holidays aren’t doing you—or your client—any favors.
How to get on editors’ ‘nice’ lists
First, take a simple litmus test for determining whether your pitch is a good one: Could you have pitched this story last year? The year before? Five years ago? The answer should always be “no.” You should pitch only those stories that are unique to 2011. A story is destined for second-tier outlets—or no coverage at all—if it’s an evergreen tips piece that could have run just as well in 2009.
Second, make your story something that your target outlet would actually run. It’s not enough for a pitch to be current; it also must be tailored to your target.