Sunday, November 9, 2008

12 million to one, a lesson in pitching

Spam, the bane of all that is Internet. A pesky relic that remains from the dark ages of the Internet, when all was ruled by the simple phrase, "you've got mail."

However, in recent years, many public relations practitioners have had the misfortune of inheriting the occupational slur, "spammers."

Disgusting, I know.

But, to my dismay, I know this title isn't completely unwarranted. With increasing access to media gatekeepers via the Internet, PR practitioners are finding it increasingly easier to blast out "spam" pitches to any and all parties they can reach.


Conventional wisdom may lead you to believe more e-mails = more media coverage, but this couldn't be further from the truth. And the proof is in the pudding, and by pudding I mean an article posted on

According to, for every 12.5 million spam e-mails, one response is received.

What does this mean for PR practitioners? Well, if you started pitching 500 leads each day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 50 years, you would convert on 1 media placement.

Not a particularly efficient method.

Moral of the story, sending out mass "spam" pitches just isn't efficient, and will not generate the results your organization is hoping for.

My suggestion, personalize your pitches and understand you're not talking to another computer, but rather another human being. Take the time to learn about those you're pitching, and don't send out releases containing no newsworthy information.

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