They say any PR is good PR. And while my daily communication efforts on behalf of clients looks well-mannered and breezy, the view from my desk is far different. Here’s my visual portrayal of what the world sees out of my PR initiatives and what it actually looks like and feels from my side of the computer.What's it really like to be a #PR pro? Check out this post: Click To Tweet
“Pitch it out to a bunch of places”
The internet is a big place with a lot of people on it. To be more specific, 3 billion people are using the Internet these days according to the United Nations Agency. So when my boss asks me to pitch out an article, whitepaper, infographic or press release to a “bunch of places,” that metric is seemingly attainable.
I mean, there are 3 BILLION internet users. But let’s say 1 billion of these internet users are strictly social media dwellers, a couple million are only interested in sports highlights, less than half are even editors and those editors aren’t in the HR space and the rest might have sketchy websites that leave me in fear for the safety of my computer. Furthermore, editors are like the king of the chessboard. They lurk in the back of the chessboard, behind all their protectors away from people like me. Which leads me to…
Once I finally found the “bunches of outlets” with sketch-proof sites and I successfully killed off all the pawns and knights to find the editor’s email, I’m ready to mock up my really, really nice pitch to them.
Usually this entails me reading through a good chunk of their content so I can tell them how awesome they are and how much I love reading their articles and how I refresh their blog and wait for a new one to publish and I tell all my HR friends to subscribe to their blog and I’ll never stop loving them until they reject me…hahah, just kidding. No, but really, you have to be super nice to these people just so they can do this…
The “follow-up” email
Ahh, the follow-up email. AKA: the desperate ex-girlfriend reminding you I’m still here and totally down to love your blog content and will send you my client’s work whenever you’re ready. That email. The nearly walk of shame email. The “I’m looking back one last time…until next time” email.
Editors hold a lot of power over us PR people down here on the ground. They’ll ignore your first email, and even your second email to remind them you’re walking away with this super awesome opportunity for free content they don’t want before I have to go through the research process again, which leads me to…
The “Where did I go wrong?” phase. This is the part of the pitching process where you have to go back to square one and ask yourself, “Is it me or them? Did I pitch to the wrong outlet or are they just a mean person? Was my email too long? Too vague? Too bubbly? Not bubbly enough? Where else am I going to go with this orphan article?”
Some might say you can put baby in the corner this once and retarget the article later. To them I say Giiiiiiiiirl, we have numbers to hit and I’m the only PR pitchin’ employee in our little B2B marketing agency. All fingers are pointing to me if I don’t hit placements. So we’re going to handle this like adults, with tears and wine…and my favorite life-line software ever, Cision.
If you’re reading this because you’re considering going into PR, I encourage you to do so. Yes, there is a 95% rejection rate, which makes that 5% acceptance rate feel like this:
Happy pitching, PR newbies.