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cluelessness.pngIf you can’t stand to read yet another grumpy post about clueless PR peeps, just skip this one.

But if you are a PR person, you need to tape this to your computer, make a copy, and paste that one to your bathroom mirror so you’ll see it every day when you brush your teeth.

Time and again, I think I’ve written my last clueless flack post. But then I get an email pitch about “6 steps to PR success,” and it’s addressed to Dear (First_Name.)

Don’t be clueless

It came on the same day as the unsolicited press release about the revolutionary new dog harness, which has, in fact been around for at least a dozen years.

Add that to the “Dear Mr Ochman,” pitches and “your Alexa rank is amazing,” and “I’m sure you’ll be interested in … ” (Hint, I’m not.)

I am not alone

I’m happy, i suppose, to know I’m not alone. My friend Toby Bloomberg recently got a pitch that said:

Hi Toby,
Hope you are well! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I’m writing to offer you an article from xxx LCSW, BCD, and author of the new book, The Power of the Middle Ground: A Couple’s Guide to Renewing Your Relationship.

Perfect response by Toby Bloomberg

Ever fabulous, Bloomberg responded:

“Thanks for reaching out. Perhaps your blogger relations list got a bit mixed up .. Diva Marketing is a site that addresses social media and branding issues .. although I do mention Max every once in awhile .. but you knew he was a dog because of course you’ve read my blog.

Dear PR Peeps: Take this quiz

So please, dear flacks, before you pitch again, take this quiz.
(It first ran in 2007. It is running again for obvious reasons.)
Dear PR people: please take this quiz before you send out another press release or email pitch. (Scroll down for the correct answers: )

1. Has the print, online or broadcast reporter you are pitching ever covered this topic?
2. Why Would this pitch or release elicit a response from people who read it?
3. Is this pitch or release bullshit?
4. Would anyone pass along a story on this topic to a friend or colleague?
5. Have you Googled the reporters and bloggers on your list so you know if they’ve covered your competitor?
6. Have you read your competitors’ press releases?
7. Have you checked to see if any blogs specifically cover this topic?
8. Can you make the copy shorter?
9. Do you know if the person you are pitching is male or female?

Answers: 1. Yes; 2. Yes; 3. No; 4. Yes; 5. Yes; 6. Yes; 7. Yes 8. Yes. 9. Yes.