In the wake of another blacklisting of PR agencies by reputable tech reporters, SHIFT PR’s Todd Defren mapped out a list of 7 laws PR pros should follow. While the rules included in Todd’s list are common practice for many in the profession, there are still too many others who need the reminder.
The PR pro promises to read several weeks’ worth of previous blog
posts and/or articles to ascertain whether their story would be a good
fit for the blog/publication.
If the PR pro ascertains that there is NOT a good fit, they will
not pitch the blogger/reporter, and promise to push back on
unreasonable client or management demands to do so.
Before pitching the blogger/reporter, the PR pro promises to
double-check their method of outreach. They will not only check
externally-developed media resources like Cision but will also review
any guidelines made publicly available by the blogger or publication.
The PR pro promises to never send a press release without being
able to demonstrate its concrete relevance to the blogger/reporter …
and will never, ever send an attachment unless it’s been requested.
As much as is possible, the PR pro will participate actively and
transparently within the communities of-interest to their clients. The
PR pro acknowledges that a “cold call” (in any form) – while sometimes
unavoidable – is considerably less effective than reaching out as a
known community member.
The PR pro promises that any correspondence – whether the initial
contact or follow-up – should contain a message customized to the
blogger/reporter’s needs and should offer value. For example, “just
checking to see if you got the press release” is not welcome or
The PR pro acknowledges that being ignored by the blogger/reporter
is not to be considered license for harassment. It’s more likely the
pitch was not of-interest, so any further outreach should be mindful
that the story idea has likely been quietly rejected. If the PR pro
must try again, they promise to do so by offering a different, more
creative and valuable approach to their original pitch.