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Yesterday, I apologized to Mia Giusti, who sent me a “tip for whatsnextblog” about a viral for a new phone campaign. She sent me a “how dare you!” email when I called her a flak and said she was just trying to point out something interesting to me that had not already been covered everywhere.
Well, Ms. Giusti, if you’re not a flak, you’ve certainly been pitching your little face off like one, because other bloggers have told me they got exactly the same pitch from, drum roll please …. Mia Giusti.
Some of My Best Friends Are Flaks
Let’s get something straight: I used to BE a publicist; some of my best friends are flaks; some very smart people do PR very well. I want to have tips and briefings as much as the next journalist. We’re all out here looking for scoops and we can’t find every single one without sometimes getting tips from flaks. I’ll read a well-written and SHORT press release that isn’t sent as an attachment. I’ll interview an exec once in a while.
But I won’t stand for being bullshitted and snookered by flaks and neither will anyone else you pitch. Here’s a hint: a lot of bloggers know eachother and communicate regularly. We talk about people who do dumbass things like pretend not to be flaks.
What’s Next’s Pitching Rules for flaks
Publicists, please paste these to your refrigerator or filing cabinet
1. don’t pretend you’re not a publicist
2. don’t lie
3. if you forget rule 2, refer to rule 1
4. provide an email address from your company, not hotmail, yahoo, or gmail; and a phone number in case I have a question.
5. say who your client is and what you are pitching and why in 200 words or less (preferably much less)
6. if you make a mistake, admit it and move on
7. don’t lie
8. pitch me before you give the story to everyone and her dog or don’t bother me