Media Relations’ Dirty Secret: ‘Spray and Pray’ Pitching ‘Experts’ Works, but for How Long?

PR trades, including PRNEWS, expound on authenticity’s virtues. Yet authenticity is a two-way street and includes journalists. So, here’s a confession: sometimes a media relations tactic routinely hated and long derided in surveys actually works.

It’s called spray and pray pitching and sometimes spammy pitching. A sub-category of it has a media relations person sending a large, automated list of journalists a pitch touting an expert source. Sometimes the pitch is repeated. For weeks and months. Same 'expert;' usually the same pitcher.

As you can imagine, there are times when journalists on deadline desperately need an additional source(s). Several sources may suddenly have gone AWOL, another doesn’t offer much substance during a short phone interview and a third is ignoring your emails and calls.

Perhaps an editor asks that the journalist add another voice to her article.

As it happens, there are several PR pros who’ve pitched this journalist every week, for months.


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