PR people are being advised to forgo asking for “read” receipts for the email pitches they send to journalists.
Reason: Reporters resent them.
“For them, your pitch can make them feel like you’re their boss, peeking over their shoulder to make sure they are doing work at your request,” writes Executive Editor Allison Carter in PR Daily. Read receipts are guaranteed to take “an already-crotchety journalist from 0 to 60” in irritation, she warns.
Carter urges PR people to push back when their bosses insist that they get receipts — the “lowest common denominator” of measurement.
“Instead, you want to measure the number of meaningful contacts made with journalists – that is, media hits or conversations on background, even if you don’t make it into the final piece, as well as what outlets they represent and how meaningful those are to your organization,” Carter writes.
PR executives should spend time "building relationships, crafting customized pitches and building a robust media list,” Carter concludes. “You’ll know your media strategy is working because journos will reach out to you about the content of your pitch – not with an automated response that may or not be accurate.”
Other PR practices that annoy journalists, especially in B2B, include incomprehensible verbiage and constant use of the word “leading” when describing companies, points out Carter.
Then there's the demand that reporters fill out online forms to access documents being pitched, often requiring that they pass CAPTCHA tests...