Why we avoid ‘The Scattershot Approach’ to PR and you should, too

Misguided emails are the fastest way to kill brand momentum

As a PR agency, we want to secure coverage for our clients, and our clients want their names and brands to appear in publications that make sense for them. This is the foundation of the work we do, but there are many wrong ways to do it.

Pitching company news, story ideas, and thought leadership topics to as many reporters, writers, bloggers, and podcast hosts as possible might seem like the easiest way to do PR, but it’s a trap that many agencies — even the largest ones — fall into far too easily, and the outcomes are poor.

The Scattershot Approach

The scattershot approach to PR involves casting a wide net with the hope that something — anything — will stick.

The temptation to get a client in front of as many journalist eyes as possible is a strong one but here’s the truth: Only a small percentage of all the writers, reporters, bloggers, and podcast hosts out there actually care about the topic being proposed. Of the potential targets that are interested, an even smaller group of them have the bandwidth to consider covering it.

This is why the scattershot approach to PR is fundamentally flawed.

Spamming a pitch to as many targets as possible alienates the vast majority of the people who received the pitch in the first place. When a writer receives an off-topic pitch, they’ll do one of three things:

  • Reply: Some will reply and say the pitch isn’t right for them, but this is rare. They’ve already wasted their time with an email they shouldn’t have received in the first place and they’re unlikely to waste more time to explain why.
  • Delete: Most writers who get an off-center pitch will just delete it and move on with their day, but they’ll remember the sender as someone who didn’t do their homework. This makes them far less likely to read new emails in the future.
  • Block: A harsh but fair punishment for failing at researching a pitch target is an email block. They took the time to read the pitch, and now they know the sender didn’t bother to learn what they do or why. The bridge was burnt before it was built.

Companies should be wary of PR firms that use this approach. With their company name and story at the center of the unwanted pitch, reporters can form negative opinions of their brand through no fault of their own.

At Notably, we avoid this approach like the plague.

What we do at Notably: The Targeted Approach

When we send a pitch, we know that the person who receives it has an intimate understanding of the topic. We take the time to not only find reporters who cover specific beats, but to ensure that those writers produce the kind of content we’re working to secure for our clients.

We read what they’ve written in the past, how often they publish new content, and take note of their likes and dislikes. Each pitch that is sent is meant for a specific person’s eyes, and we take great pride in building long-lasting relationships with journalists, editors, and hosts.

It’s these relationships that not only ensure high-quality coverage, but ongoing engagement. Through us, many of our clients build bonds with specific reporters who follow their journey and are eager to write about them again in the future.

In PR, a reporter who is happy to see your name pop up in their inbox is gold, and those are the kinds of relationships we build.

Some of the ways our clients benefit:

  • Consistent media coverage: Our roster of PR gurus is diverse and experienced, including former journalists and agency professionals with established media relationships. This means positive interactions with the press and brand-friendly coverage across all verticals.
  • No wasted resources: Want to do an interview with a reporter who has no idea who you are or why you matter? How about an expert byline that never sees the light of day? You’ll have to find a different agency for that. When we secure an opportunity, it comes to fruition.
  • Strategic placement: Placing stories with journalists who are known for covering similar topics enhances the credibility and authority of the story. This leads to increased visibility and influence within the target audience.
  • Expert crisis management: We’ve seen it all… no, really, we have. With decades of experience across all forms of media engagement, including crisis comms, we will be there to cheer you on in good times and support you in stressful situations.

So, are you ready to be Notable? Let’s chat.


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EMAIL: hello@notablypr.com

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