Example of a Great PR Pitch

Tom O’Brien took a chance tonight. He decided to send a pitch to a blogger, and see what would happen. And now, I’m going to show Tom (and you) what happened, first by reprinting his letter to me, and then, by commenting on his letter to me.

Tom sent this from his personal account. It was real and human right from the start.

Hi Chris:

As I read your (and lots of other blogs), it’s clear that bloggers don’t like to be blindly pitched by PR Firms. (As a (not prominent) blogger myself, I think I’d welcome the attention – but I digress.)

Tom has led with deference to what a blogger wants (thank you) and then self-deprecation that made me appreciate his point of view. I want to address Tom’s point about attention: sure, we love the attention, and it feeds a small part of our ego if we feel like you’re opening up a new relationship, and not just lobbing a press release at us (or me, at least. Let me say “me.”). Tom made me feel at home with this opening.


So, here’s my own pitch, I hope it isn’t too spammy.

1. MotiveQuest has developed a tool to measure brand advocacy in social media
2. This measure has been proven as a leading indicator of sales.
3. We have just announced it – the Online Promoter ScoreTM

Easy. It’s a list. It’s a numbered list. I love this. Brevity at it’s finest. I didn’t have to wade through a stupid fake newspaper headline and quotes from people I don’t know or care about.


Given the continuous debate about social media metrics around here, I think this is big news. And this is my Social Media Release.

Tom’s right on key here. This is DEFINITELY something we talk about a lot. I spent a little time with an agency today, and that was the key thing we talked about as a sticking point.


If you would like to learn more and perhaps write about this you can:

1. Schedule a brief call with me at MotiveQuest (tobrien@xxxxxxxx.com)
2. Here’s the press release
3. Here’s the Brand Advocacy landing page with the how, what and why of Online Promoter Score
4. Here’s the AdAge article about it: Linking Web Buzz to Mini Sales
5. Here’s my blog post about it Brand Advocacy Matters
6. Here’s our del.icio.us page with lots of articles about brand advocacy and related topics.

Again with the list. This was AWESOME. It felt like choosing off a menu. I felt like I knew immediately what to do with this opportunity.


If you can’t stand to get any more email from me, just let me know and I won’t do this again.

Funny and disarming, and also very very very human.

Lessons Learned

Dear PR Professionals–

Tom did everything right here. He started by identifying with me on a personal level, and letting me know within the first paragraph that he knew my perspective. He went on to tell me why this might be pertinent to me. He went into very brief, simple, bulleted lists, showing me how I could pursue the opportunity to write about this. He finished with a human offer of opting out.

Please try to dissect this further, take it to your labs, and learn from it. Please realize that maybe what’s missing, is a two part process.

  1. Send me the disarming email with simple-to-digest info first.
  2. If I respond positively, then see whether I need your big fat press release written as if it’s going to Walt Mossberg’s next article.

Step 1 is the secret sauce here, PR friends. Start by establishing your human side. Connect with me. Give me something really easy to consider.

And THEN see if I want a Step 2.

Is this faster? no. More efficient? no. Best way to do it? I think so.

What do you think?

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