I’m sure every reporter has his or her own way of dealing with the onslaught of CES press pitches. Some people like to set up appointments for the show, and act on that as the invites start coming in. Others, like me, prefer to file them all in a separate email folder and wait until I get time to go through them. Usually, this time doesn’t ever present itself, and I finally carve out a few hours mid-December.
I’m not complaining; I appreciate PR people getting in touch and helping me discover what I want to see at CES. It’s just that the level of outreach this year seems more overwhelming than usual. Companies and agencies are blast emailing everyone on the press list, whether their product is relevant to you and your audience or not. I’m sure it’s easier on their end, but on this end, oh, the avalanche!
Nothing says good PR like someone knowing what I do, what I cover, and who my audience is. Take a look at my website, see who I write for and what types of stories I’m working on. I’ve seen numerous tweets from my fellow tech reporters on the number of blast emails they’ve received from people pitching CES products and interviews. One buddy tweeted his response: “Can you help me understand why this would be of value to me or of interest to my readers?” Snarky, maybe but completely true. What value is there to me in meeting with your company?
Avoid words like “breakthrough technology,” “game-changing”, and “revolutionary.” I’m sure your product is great, really, but a game changer? If it is as revolutionary as you claim, at least try to tell me why.
Follow Up: I get that you need to follow up, really I do. But sending a daily email for an entire week just gets me to the point where I want to reply “no” without even looking. Sorry I’m not on your timeframe, but there are deadlines to meet, after all. If I miss all the good time slots, that’s my problem for being late, right?
Numerous Queries: Save yourself some time and energy. Have one person from each agency or each account send pitches. Receiving more than one query about meeting with someone or seeing products from the same team just seems counterproductive. It’s a waste or your time, and mine.
Exclusive: I’ve been offered more than my fair share of “exclusive” interviews or demos. Flattered, really, but I highly doubt I’m the only person you are going to show your product to. If you’re doing an interview with someone other than me, it’s no longer exclusive.
All that said I do welcome your pitches. I’ll be producing and hosting MommyTech TV on Tuesday and Wednesday until 2pm and have time in the afternoons as well as the other days to walk around the show floor and see all the latest gadgets. Please just make sure they’re relevant to me and my audience.
See you all in Las Vegas.