Hardly a day passes without PR pros noting the increased transparency that blogging has brought to corporations and industries. They warn companies to tread lightly in a world where press releases are dissected and corporate spin is unraveled online.
But that increase in transparency applies to the practice of public relations as well. Once upon a time, the worst possible result from faxing a poorly-crafted pitch was a quick trip to the editor's trash can. But email can be cut and pasted into a blog and a pitcher can bring embarrassment to themselves and their clients. For instance, I'm guessing this post didn't end up in the clipbook prepared for Motorola by their agency. (Whenever I hear examples of bad PR, I think of Stu from the movie Phone Booth shown in the photo here).
Now, there's a blog with the express purpose of outing bad pitches entitled, appropriately enough, The Bad Pitch Blog. Operated by two people in PR (Richard Laermer and Kevin Dugan), the blog outs bad pitches like this one from Stephanie. Unfortunately for her, this example also includes a lesson in SEO. Due to the power of blogs in generating search results, this post is now the top result in a Google search for her name. Good luck applying for that next public relations job, Stephanie.
So, pitchers beware! Your next bad pitch could end up being immortalized on the Internet.