PR Stands For PrettyGoshDarnEasyToTakeAdvantageOf ... Right?
If you Google, "holiday sports gifts," my name pops up first.
How impressive I am, methinks!
Except that I wrote that as a 21-year old "featured columnist" (glorified indentured servant) for Bleacher Report -- which paid me $2.47 per article.
How sad I am, meknows
Every time someone clicks on one of those stupid gifts I included because my job was to write about whatever their SEO algorithm said to write (an iPad and a soccer ball? really, 21-year old Matt?), Bleacher Report gets an affiliate commission for my servitude.
And every month or so, I get a ridiculous PR pitch from someone who didn't take 5 seconds to Google me and find out that I haven't written for Bleacher Report in nine years, and I haven't written a holiday gift guide in a decade.
Like this one:
"Hi Rud, I hope you're well!
I'm reaching out on behalf of WICK SPORTS, the maker of modern candles for sports fans. As leagues around the world begin to restart, they are on a mission to reignite team spirit one candle at a time.
The brand will debut their holiday collection on November 1st, launching twelve different non-toxic candles that smell like a moment in sports, think azaleas at the Masters, game ball leather and champagne victory showers. They look elegant and sleek while having a nostalgic scent perfect for any fan cave. Their signature GAMEDAY candle will come in various team colors and be the season staple. Their line of WICK Golf candles are going to be an excellent gift too. WICK is The Hottest Gift in Sports this season.
If you are planning on publishing any Holiday gift guides, please feel free to consider including WICK SPORTS - A portion of the proceeds from each candle sold now through the holidays will be sent to stadium staff affected by the pandemic. Happy to coordinate any additional info, assets or samples you might need to cover the brand. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions.
Thanks for your consideration!"
I might write an article "Why I Would Eat 14 Live Rattlesnakes and Marry A Dead Crocodile Before Writing Another Holiday Gift Guide" just so I have something to send these fools.
This is actually one of the better pitches I've received, believe it or not. And you're a soggy pumpernickel crouton if you think I'm not gonna try and get a free candle out of this.
Alas, this is the state of most PR.
They use algorithms or lazy, uninterested researchers to identify "targets," and send completely unpersonalized emails that are sure to not convince you to cover them.
They throw out hundreds (thousands?) of darts and hope to hit on a few.
Whereas if they had taken a few hours to craft personalized emails to people who could actually help them (and might want to), their hit rate would skyrocket.
Just so you know: If you want media attention for your writing, business or ideas, this is your competition.
It's a lot easier than you think.
Hence why my client Trevor Kraus has been featured in The New York Times, Daily Beast, ESPN radio with Jeremy Schaap, Barstool Sports and a whole lot more (for his book, Ticketless).
I've only spent a few hours pitching myself to podcasts, yet I've been on some pretty big ones (Side Hustle School, Side Hustle Nation, etc.).
I say this not to brag. I say this to encourage you, because the competition is simply that abysmal.
Which means: It's your turn to take the spotlight.
Feeling helpless to start because you don't have an audience?
Know that you should be getting more attention for your work?
Get some damn media attention already. You're more interesting than a sports candle maker, that's for sure.
If you want me to help you, shoot me an emaill (firstname.lastname@example.org).