Yesterday, TechCrunch brought a new email database company, Pressfarm, some unwarranted attention. While the spotlight might be undeserved for the company, which supplies tech-focused reporter emails to users for $9/month, the tongue and cheek article from TechCrunch reporter Romain Dillet makes several good points about reaching out to media in an effective and appropriate manner.
If our job were as easy as collecting 200 email addresses, everyone would be a PR expert. However, an email address will only get you so far. That seems obvious, but spammy email pitches continue to run rampant. This hurts the PR profession, along with us pros that attempt to cut through the clutter with thoughtful story ideas and well-crafted pitches. Why this method of madness continues isn’t clear, as results surely do not line up with the effort.
Effective media relations entails much more. From tracking trends to understanding reporters’ interest and writing styles to timing, PR professionals need to be smart and agile to gain ink for their company or clients. Some reporters might prefer short, straightforward pitches; others require a meatier story idea. What is clear is that journalists do not want to receive mass pitches unrelated to their areas of interest that were also sent to the other 213 reporters in the Pressfarm database.