What does the media consider a solid pitch? This is one of those questions that I am often asked. The answer…well, there really isn’t one single answer. No silver bullet that guarantees success and definitely no template that can be mass produced and then BCC’d to the world. Reporters, editors and bloggers are individuals that have their own unique perspective on the world and the subjects they cover. Research, understanding and patience are what you need (unless you are pitching a new technology that will end our dependence on oil).

I bring this up because 1) I was recently asked this by a client and 2) I just read Tom Foremski’s Silicon Valley Watcher article, “The Killer Pitch? – When PR Agencies Can Do This – Look Out!”. In this article, he discusses how some reporters are now judged not by the quality of their work but by the amount of traffic an article can drive to the site. To meet this need, the PR pitch is evolving to clearly state the PR practitioner/story will help generate site traffic.

As Tom points out, just a little boost in traffic can increase a story’s ranking where a news aggregator will pick it up and, well, the rest is history. The issue now is, was the story really worth it or did we create buzz for the sake of creating buzz? That is a philosophical question I just don’t have the space to answer here (though would be a good follow-on post).

Is this the way of the future? There are still publications/sites that seek quality journalism and a quality pitch that understands the reporter’s needs. What I think will be interesting is when a publication or reporter outright says you need to help me drive traffic if you want me to cover your client. Now that would be a scary admission I hope not to hear.