Journalists’ PR Pet Peeves

By Lisa Collins

The more you understand what journalists hate about being pitched the more you can adapt and focus on what they like and want and  hopefully then succeed in get them to cover your story.

Read carefully and avoid the following :

  1. Jargon

Jargon in press releases will get you no where.  To put it simply it gives off an air of laziness and lack of thought.  Press releases with no  prior thought towards who will be receiving it and worst of all no story will fail to get the journalists attention and ultimately annoy them.  Make sure it is clear and most importantly get to the point and make it obvious. Pitches that force a journalist to wade through paragraphs of text to understand a story will not elicit email responses

  1. All Caps

Avoid writing in all caps, at all times. Writing in ALL CAPS gives the impression you are shouting at someone. Avoid this strong effect, unless indeed you want to shout at the person in question.  But beware, if it a pitch towards a journslist, it will get you nowhere.

  1. Delusions of Grandeur

Just because a new idea or or new product may seem exciting and important to you, does not mean the rest of the world will think so, including journalists. Be patient and maybe wait until you have an actual story worth pitching. What may seem important to you, may not to everybody else.

  1. Bad Timing

Like nearly everything in life, timing is key. In fact some might argue that timing is more important than perfection. Sometimes, you just have to get it out there. Other times you may well need to hold back. If you want to pitch an idea for an article but see that that same topic has just been covered then you need to re-think . Don’t just hope for the best, adjust it to make it different from what has been covered.

5. Bad punctuation

Nobody will give your pitch credit if they notice bad punctuation, least of all journalists who received dozens upon dozens of emails each day. For example avoid  spaces between end of sentences and the use of ?/! inappropriately for example.



Lisa Collins

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