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Sending to the wrong reporter is devastating to a public relations pitch

· PR tips

Mistakes happen. We’ve all sent the wrong pitch to the wrong reporter at some point and had our hands slapped. But being as relevant as possible in pitching is essential if you want someone to pay attention. So take the time to find the right reporters, research their beats beyond your often inaccurate list report on who covers what, and ensure the pitch topic is appropriate for the journalist you seek out.

“Really the biggest hurdle is whether the Public Relations person has actually read something I’ve written — and not just the headline and first sentence, although that’s still better than nothing,” said Justin Fox, who created Time Magazine’s “Curious Capitalist” blog and recently left the Harvard Business Review as its editorial director to join Bloomberg as a columnist. “Beyond that there are lots of nuances and gradations, but that first one knocks out 98 percent of the field.”

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