“Pitching epitomizes the old-world model of one-way communications.” –Andy Beaupre

So he argues in this article on Ragan.com. However, I think in his vision of PR utopia, he forgets simple aspects of interpersonal relationships.

“It’s a dated form of PR… The world of top-down media dominance has been replaced with a never-ending grassroots conversation that’s lively, engaging, empowering and direct to the consumer/customer,” Beaupre says. Sure, in today’s society talking to the world is one simple click away on a blog website. That makes all the more reason journalists can and do require PR people to pitch stories. If you want to use your own channels, go for it. If you want to use the media, go through them.

Also notice the two open bottles of wine.

With so many people trying to get media coverage, it becomes a competition for attention. It reminds me of a conversation in Italian. Italians are known for speaking with their hands. If you want to talk, you put your hands in the air. The person with their hands highest is talking the loudest. Sometimes they even grab each others’ hands and physically push them down to interrupt.

Pitching is the same way. It may be crude, but if you want attention, you have to stand out. The media is like a guy at a party. It might be that every single girl has an amazing personality, but he simply can’t spend all of his time and energy having a 20-minute conversation with each. Don’t expect to be paid attention unless you put yourself out there, but don’t come off desperate.

(I’m really proud of that analogy.)

To be fair, Beaupre is on to something when he says, “…let’s enter a two-way conversation, tell a story, listen, learn, invest time and treat people the way we like to be treated. We may not always get where we want to go, but we’ll build genuine relationships that have lasting value.” Aside from the fact that the purpose of your job is to always get where you want to go, building relationships is good. If you’re friends with the journalists, it’s easier to work together instead of work at each other, and you might get some preferential treatment along the way.

Another day, another episode of Prescribing Reality. If you like explosions or cute baby animals (not at the same time), you should follow me on Twitter or follow my blog by clicking that nifty looking button on the right-hand side of the Home page. If you enjoy controversy, drama, or avoiding conflict, leave your thoughts in the comments below. That way we can “enter into a two-way conversation, listen, learn, etc.” Until next time!

Peace. ~Matt