Bad PR Pitch #1: “Open To A Conversation?”

In hopes of improving the often sad state of PR pitches, I’m beginning a series dissecting the bad one I get. I’ll start with the “conversation” pitch. This one almost always goes in the trash.

“Would you be open to a conversation with….”

“I’d be happy to coordinate a conversation….”

“Would you’d be interested in a conversation with….”

No, I’m not interested in having a conversation with whomever you’re pitching, unless that person is an extremely senior executive from one of the major companies I cover. You want me to have a conversation with Larry Page? Awesome. I’m there. Mark Zuckerberg? Sign me up. I’ll bring flowers. Someone I’ve never heard of from a company equally unknown to me? What are you thinking?

Seriously, what ARE you thinking? Is anyone sitting around looking at their inbox and the list of stories already on their plate and thinking, “You know what I wish? I wish I could just shove all this away and take 45 minutes to an hour to talk to someone about whatever they want, on something I’ll probably not write about.”

By the way, never say you want to have a quick 5 minute call. No one does a 5 minute call.

I deal with specifics. Is there a breaking news story? Is there a trend story I’m likely to write? I want pitches that deal with these specifics. The “let’s have a conversation” pitch isn’t specific. It’s a big, gooey mess that I don’t really know what to do with, other that to toss it in the trash.

I promise. Send a good pitch about something unique or different that your company has done, something that has a news angle, and that’s what makes me want to have a conversation. And I’ll ask for it. Maybe I’ll even bring flowers.