To cover Horrorfest or not to cover Horrorfest, that is the question…

August 19, 2009

I’ve been getting pitched left and right this week.  I’ve gotten press releases from the UCal Berkeley Bancroft Library, and AfterDark Films.  I’m covering the Bancroft Library news and a product release from (gotta love my job) for BitchBuzz.  But, I’m not sure what I can do with the AfterDark Films/HorrorFest news, as it doesn’t really fit into any of the publications I currently write for.

I met these folks down in San Diego at Comic Con.  And, I had thought about interviewing Ms. HorrorFest for Women to Watch (but, again – doesn’t quite fit the pub) and I’m pretty sure I gave them a card… So now I’m on their press blast list.

Which is cool, it’s not like it’s a hard pitch where someone is calling me to directly ask for coverage.  And, I love horror movies as much as the next person and will probably make an attempt to attend HorrorFest 10… But, I don’t know if I can actually cover it.  Perhaps I’ll try to pitch it to Geek Monthly and see if they pick up the pitch…  That would be nice.  I’m dying to get something published in that mag.

I guess the net lesson in this post is one directed towards people who are pitching products or news or events to writers – bloggers, specifically.  This is really something that all people who are handling any sort of publicity function should commit to heart: Know who you’re pitching.

You should always know the writers you have on your media list and what their beat is.

Nothing frustrates me more than to receive a pitch that doesn’t fit into what I write about.  Because I spend time reading the press release and researching the news – then I think about how I could fit it into one of the places I write about – then I think about if I should pitch a new publication or website with the news/product review/event and in the end, if I can’t make that work out in my head I end up having to say no to the person who has pitched me, which makes me feel bad for them… And, like we both wasted a lot of time.

It really pays to do a little digging to figure out who you’re talking to and what they write about.  The whole “shoot the gun into the air and hope we hit something” method of public relations is not a good tactic to take.  Strategize your media contact and you’re bound to get much, much better results.

For example — instead of pitching ME HorrorFest — as I write for a women’s lifestyle network and a website about being broke — why wouldn’t you pitch that event to Best Horror  Or, to these guys: ComicsOnline

Not that I really mind being off pitched — sometimes I can translate it into a post or an article — and, for sure, it is a great way to keep up on what is going on that I might be personally interested in… But, I know from doing publicity for the San Francisco Improv Coop and working at SHIFT Communications how valuable being strategic in your pitching can be for the over worked, under paid pr flack.

Just some friendly advice.  Eh.  And, now I’m away…

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