ZDnet Writer “Creeped Out” by PR Pitch – But Why?

Each month, ZDnet enterprise technology reporter Rachel King highlights (or maybe I should say low-lights?) a particularly awful pitch from a public relations professional. I am a fan of columns like this one because it keeps PR people earnest. A little for shame for representing the field in a laughable manner is completely acceptable.

This month, though, I don’t really understand King’s issue with the pitch.

Chatwing is a widget “specializing in delivering real-time communication at any given time,” and a review from anyone writing for ZDnet would obviously be a big win for the company. To catch the attention of a reporter that is presumably inundated with pitches over the course of any given day, Chatwing’s PR opted to send snail mail as opposed to email. In a digital world like ours, a package can really break through the noise.

They sent the T-shirt pictured below, a mock-up of the service provided by Chatwing. King was very “creeped out” by the use of her own image on the shirt.

Rachel King, ZDnet, Chatwing

It’s possible that Rachel and I simply have different expectations of online privacy. But then again, she is a journalist for a tech publication – and journalists aren’t exactly trying to cover their identity. As someone that researches the best targets to send a pitch and press release, it is commonplace to find images of countless reporters – on social profiles, Google and even on the outlet’s website.

I am worried that this is a disconnect between journalist and PR practitioner.

What do you think?


About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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