Within the past hour, I’ve fielded two off-target PR pitches, thanks to an “alert” sent out by PRSourceCode, a public relations directory service. PRSourceCode describes itself as

PRSourceCode is a content service provider (CSP) serving journalism, conference, industry accolade, and public relations (PR) professionals within the information technology (IT) community.

PRSourceCode is your partner in the PR business. Our services enhance the efficiency of PR operations — increasing hit rates, volume of generated “ink,” speaker placements, and award wins.

I love that one of the public relations professionals actually forwarded the PRSourceCode “alert” to me, along with a pitch for me to cover her client.

Of course:

• The information from PRSourceCode was wrong.
• I’m not the editorial contact for that publication.

In one case, the PR person was someone that I know well from a small agency, and he couched his message with the words, “I know that this is probably wrong,” so I’ll give him a pass.

In the other case — the one where I was forwarded the PRSourceCode “alert” as part of the pitch — the person was someone that I emailed with only once before, in 2007, and who works for a major PR agency, Schwartz Communications.

My responses to both of them consisted mainly of a link to a previous missive about public relations directories, Bacon’s = Bad, MediaMap = Bad.

PS: I’d love to become an “industry accolade professional.” Where do I sign up?


>> Update 3/4/2009: Another misdirected editorial-calendar pitch to me based on a media directory. What’s noteworthy this time is that the PR person says that the MediaMap directory listed a specific editor (not me this time) as the contact for the story. However, that particular senior editor has never been given out by SD Times as an editorial contact for any story, so I don’t know where MediaMap gets its bogus information from. In any case, the PR person decided to come to me instead. I referred her to SD Times’ editorial calendar, which lists the appropriate contact.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick
3 replies
  1. Paul N. Leroux
    Paul N. Leroux says:

    Schwartz has been our PR agency for several years, and one reason I like them is that they take the high road. I’m surprised this happened and so, I’m sure, are a lot of people at Schwartz.

    Cheers,

    – Paul

  2. Alan Zeichick
    Alan Zeichick says:

    Today’s pitch was from Schwartz as well. I’d estimate that fully half the “bad pitches” I receive, based on media directory garbage, come from Schwartz.

    It must be their standard operating procedure to just work from a media directory.

    I hope Schwartz gives its clients a big discount, since clearly the agency doesn’t work to professional standards.

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