It’s gotten to the stage now where people are pitching things to me a lot and are also asking advice on how to pitch something to journalists. There are loads of things that annoy me when people pitch to me but I let them slide. While I give flack to PR companies for the way they interact with me and others, most get it right and sometimes I almost wish that more companies would hire PR companies instead of trying to manage stuff inhouse when they really have no clue. I like getting pitches and seeing new tech products and services being demoed and am happy to travel to see new things. However some of the basics by some companies and individuals really really annoy me, perhaps those that work as journalists have to grin and bear it as they need to make nice the whole time. Not me. Life is too short to suffer fools. Here’s a list of things that will get you blacklisted by me if you try these on me:
- Do not send me a twelve paragraph email describing what your business does. If you take 12 paragraphs to explain your product or company, your company is fucked. Don’t annoy me by sending me a fucking essay. I’d rather chat to an obnoxious arrogant jerk that gets to the point (I can identify with that) than someone that buzzes like a fridge and sounds like a detuned radio.
- Do not deconstruct my feedback pointing out how I’m wrong and I don’t get what you are saying. Clarify things if you want but do not tell me how wrong I am and how I did not get your point. That’s insulting and it’s not an ego thing but if I give good feedback on something it’s because I know what I’m talking about.
- Do not arrange a meeting with me and waste my time by then talking about what you could do. Tell me what you do and what you will be doing. Do not ask for coverage and spend the time telling me all the stuff that can’t be made public. How about something I can write about now, not next year? I could have been earning money while you talk crap for 45 minutes.
- Further to that, do not spend the whole time badmouthing your competitors and hardly any time talking about what you have achieved. All that tells me is that you are a loser and your competitors are obviously doing better.
- Do not ask me to try out your mobile software and assume I’ll install it on a one of a limited list of phones that your software works with. Send me a test phone or go away. Likewise, do not assume I will be running Windows on my desktop or laptop.
- Do not send me a press release and ask me to review your product based on that press release.
- Do not assume I live and work in Dublin and when you realise I live in Cork almost demand I come to you. I am not spending up to 200 euros for you to buy me a coffee. Ask me am I interested in meeting the next time I’m in Dublin, do not demand I come and have an audience with you. You’re not royalty. Most people get this right but I have been contacted by people who almost tut I’m based in Cork and then ask “Can you come to Dublin so we can have a chat?”
- Do not EVER sign me up to your spammy newsletter because we emailed back and forth ONCE when you tried to pimp your product. I will make an effort to have the mostly useless Data Protection Commissioner do you for spamming. Likewise don’t add me to your press release list because I replied to your pitch with “No thanks”.
- Do not offer me money or a bribe to talk up your product. Do not ask me for a list of bloggers who will write positive things about your service if you pay them. They exist but I’m not going to be the pimp that gets you your whores.