If you aren’t pitching, stop calling yourself a PR pro

A flack who doesn’t pitch is like a gas station without a tire pump: Annoying and avoidable.

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When it comes to PR people, there are two types: Those who write op-eds, and those who pitch op-eds. Rare is the pro who excels at both.

Why the bifurcation? Let me be blunt: Pitching is a pain. You’re at the mercy of editors whom you’ve likely never met, whose inboxes are inundated, and who are famous for being unresponsive. Indeed, a successful pitch can take one email or a dozen; you never know.

And yet, I’d encourage every PR pro reading this to bite the bullet. If you can’t pitch, you can’t do PR.

The situation is comparable to hiring a handyman: When I pay an electrician to install an outlet or a light, I don’t want him to leave me with an unsightly hole in the wall when he’s done; I want him to patch and paint that area, so it looks finished.

The same is true for us flacks, especially freelancers. Rare is the client who says, “You do the writing, and I’ll take it from there.” People, in general, cotton to one-stop shops. After all, full service is cheaper and simpler than a la carte pricing.

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