@DearPR: How PRs can send better pitches, one tweet at a time

We’ve talked a lot about bad PR pitches here at Muck Rack. Those posts are always some of our most popular ones and in fact, the topic is what inspired #muckedup.

So when I came across the Twitter account @DearPR, I knew I had to share it with Muck Rack readers. Some of you may already be familiar with it.

The account bio reads: “A journalist letting the public relations industry know how they can do a better job — one tweet at a time. Send me your P.R.-friendly suggestions/angry gripes!”

@DearPR has been around for about a year and most of its tweets cover what we’ve heard before. Get the name of the journalist you’re pitching correct. Don’t expect an answer immediately. Don’t call five seconds after sending an email.

The account also retweets fellow journalists’ complaints about the PR pitches they receive.

What do you think about this kind of account? Would you follow it?


What journalists really think about bad PR pitches

Peter Kafka, a senior editor at The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital, recently sent out this tweet

Dear Nirvanix: Congrats on the big C round, and your “continuing momentum”. But I don’t know what you do. Also, my name is not Michael.

It got us thinking about bad PR pitches. Because if there’s one thing journalists hate the most, it’s the bad pitches they receive from well-meaning PR folks. 

There’s the pitch that starts off with “Dear Jane” when your name is Susan (and clearly stated in your email address). Or how about the one where the name of your publication is spelled wrong? Then there’s the pitch sent your way that has absolutely nothing to do with the beat you cover. And appears in your inbox five times.

When you work in a newsroom, it’s common to hear editors and reporters complain about all the bad PR pitches they get. Now, the complaints have gone to Twitter.

We did a search of Muck Rack Pro (free for journalists, subscription-based for communications PRs) using the term “PR pitches” and got some great responses. 

Below are some of our favorites. And PR folks, take note. If you do the following, it’s likely your pitch will be sent to the trash almost immediately.

Rob Beschizza of BoingBoing

Dana Hull of the San Jose Mercury News

Jennifer Wilson of the Toronto Star

Nick Mediati of PC World

Catherine Rampell of The New York Times

Dan Zak of the Washington Post

Harry McCracken of TIME

Of course, there are many PR folks who do an amazing job. Unfortunately, when that happens, it’s less likely to make it to a tweet. 

Journalists, what are some of the worst PR pitches you’ve gotten? Tweet them our way and we’ll include them in this list. PR folks, do you have any horror stories about dealing with journalists? Tell us about those as well!

Don’t forget to include #muckedup, #muckrack or @muckrack in your tweets so we can see them!