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The Power of “Thanks, but I’m Not Interested” in Response to a PR Pitch.

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If you’ve been blogging for any significant amount of time I’m sure you are familiar with PR pitches. I get 4-5 a day on average, everything from giveaway offers, events to publicized, products to review.

At first I was flattered they thought my blog was worthy of contacting. But after a few years and hundreds of mindless pitches that didn’t even bother to get my name right, I started getting bitter. It seemed I was just receiving email after email of people asking me to do something for them with little or nothing in return.

It gets old fast and your first instinct may be to simply ignore the pitch. Not a good idea.

Why?

Well, most pitches come from a PR company and not the brand itself. These PR companies may have hundreds of clients. That means if you create a relationship with them, other opportunities may come down the pipeline.

A simple reply can do wonders in opening the door to those other opportunities. I reply to almost every pitch, no matter how ridiculous, with a simple,

Thanks {{Insert PR Rep name}}, but I’m not interested at this time. 

I hope you understand, 

-Roni

Note: I don’t leave the {{Insert PR Rep name}} in there like they sometimes do!

Half the time I don’t get a reply–which is fine by me–but many times the rep will come back with a, "Thanks for letting me know, I’ll keep you in mind for future opportunities."

This is the key. If you are someone taking your blog seriously as a brand or business you must create relationships. You want them to know that you are open to offers just not this one. Ultimately you want them to establish yourself as a good communicator.

There are times when I get ridiculous pitches that probably don’t even warrant a response. They are generic and have nothing to do with my niche or interests. To them, I still respond but I let them know I am only open to opportunities in my specific topic area.

Thanks for reaching out but it’s not quite in my niche. I focus more on health/wellness topics and events. 

I hope you understand. 

-Roni

Again, the idea to let them know you are open to doing business, that you are good communicator and that frankly, you take your blog seriously. That is, if that’s what you want to do. There are no rules that say you have to pursue blogging as business. That’s a personal choice. But for those that do, I’m curious…

How do you respond to PR pitches?



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 13 comments so far.

    healthy ashley

    January 6, 2011

    Thanks for the great reminder!

    Lori @ RecipeGirl

    January 6, 2011

    I respond the same, but I have to admit that I don’t respond at all to the really ridiculous ones. I figure there is absolutely no need to try and create a relationship with someone who appears to be not the caliber of person I’d like to work with (which might be obvious from their pr pitch).

    I’ve had some good success with turning things down & then having that same PR person return to me with a more appropriate offer.

    Theodora

    January 6, 2011

    Letting them know you’re not interested also saves both parties time–you from reading the pitches that aren’t right, them from sending to them to someone who will never give them coverage.

    As a former reporter, I used to *hate* pitches that incorrectly targeted me, but once I started doing some PR for a volunteer organization I was involved with, I realized that PR people are people, too, just trying to do their jobs (some better than others…)

    Katy

    January 6, 2011

    Good timing – I posted today on the best way to MAKE a pitch!

    I get frustrated, too, and tend to hit delete on pitches that don’t interest me. But you’ve reminded me to take a moment and give the brand or person the courtesy of a response.

    Deb

    January 6, 2011

    Must really be something wrong with me – I do not get pitches. Ever. At All.

    Gail @ Shrinking Sisters

    January 6, 2011

    Last year, I finally started turning stuff down. I used to enthusiastically respond to just about everything that was even remotely related to what I wrote about, but it got to be too much.

    I also realized how PR agencies work — they have campaigns and expect writers to do something within their time constraints. Sometimes that works, sometimes not.

    But I also don’t respond to the ridiculous pitches — vodka? Kardashian weight-loss miracles? No thanks.

    Conversely, I constantly get pitches from a certain agency (with a “5” in its name) who pitch and run — they’ll send me something that is related to my subject, and when I tell them I’m interested I never hear from them again. What’s up with that? Do agencies get brownie points for just sending out pitches?

    roni

    January 6, 2011

    Deb – I just peaked at your site for a minute… do you have any contact info up there? I didn’t see it on quick glance. That may be why!

    roni

    January 6, 2011

    Lori and Gail are both right there are a few I just don’t respond to.. the really REALLY ridiculous ones!

    Tim Wilson

    January 6, 2011

    Thanks for the great tips. I mostly just delete the crazy ones or ones that I am not interested in. I think this is a great idea and will be what I start doing.

    I have to say it does get overwhelming. I get between 5-10 a day, and sometimes even more. I have been pitched some awesome things and some real crap….. or even women’s clothing or other women’s products (we will leave it at that!) – hmmmm, I am a man writing about running, fitness, and health…..

    I have found that we also need to be more picky and learn how to say no. I have gone through times when I have accepted way too much and then been stressed and overwhelmed trying to deliver on my end of the bargain. I still run into this occasionally, but I am learning. It is difficult because I don’t want every other post to be talking about some product I was given for review.

    I was going to say the same thing to Deb – I have been ask multiple times why other people wouldn’t get pitched and always found no contact information on the blog. I really don’t get that much spam from my blog contact information.

    Now I will stop so this comment doesn’t end up being longer than your post :)

    Thanks for the great post!

    roni

    January 6, 2011

    Tim, Comment away! It’s why I blog. :)

    You bring up a good point and one I want to cover in a future post.. I too have been known to say yes WAY too much. I think learning to say no comes from experience. There’s nothing wrong with saying “no” or negotiating a relationship if you feel the pitch has potential. I’ve been known to reply to a pit with a pitch and gotten paying gigs that way!

    Jess

    January 10, 2011

    Great points, Roni! I’ve just been ignoring the pitches that don’t fit or I’m just not interested in. Also as Tim said, I need to learn how to say “no” more often.

    Thank you for the tip!

    NYCPatty

    January 13, 2011

    Great point! I don’t reply to the ridiculous ones but you make a good point the PR people have lots of clients. I also reply for events because I’m sure they are trying to get a head count. Other requests should be no different.

    If I decline an invite because it doesn’t fit my blog I try to give them recommendations of my other blogger friends that might be interested. Sometimes it has worked out beautifully for the PR rep and my friend. It’s always nice to do something nice for someone else.

    You know what Roni, you have a point. And saying thanks but I’m not interested is a much better approach.