I've said this before, but after my experience receiving queries from PR people, it clearly bears repeating: Avoid wild pitches!
Folks, when you're pitching reporters in response to a query, please:
- Don't respond if you don't meet the stated requirements. We're not trying to be exclusive, we're just trying to comply with our editor's source requirements or ensure we have a diversity of sources. You not only waste your own time and the reporter's, but if you do this too much, you really kill your chances of getting covered.
- Don't send a news release or lengthy product/service description in the body of the email or even as an attachment, especially if the query includes specific instructions like "tips" or "100 words or less". If you simply can't bear not to include this kind of supporting information, provide a link. You may not think this is a big deal, but services like Help A Reporter Out actually have a default "reject" category called "too wordy".
In other words, just follow directions!
Avoiding these mistakes doesn't guarantee you the coverage you desire, but it ensures you don't lower the odds to zero.