How Long is the Perfect Pitch?
In Text100′s LinkedIn Group Communication Conversations, my colleague Pierre flagged this post by New York Times columnist David Pogue. In it, Pogue calls on PR folks to submit shorter, jargon-free 300 word “articles” instead of hyperbole-ridden, over-blown pitches and press releases. He freely admits his motivation is even when people put forward ideas that are interesting, he files them away but seldom returns to them. In the post Pogue, publishes a few examples, but acknowledges he’s not “…endorsing or recommending…” any of the press-ready 300-word descriptions.
From my POV, I struggled a little with the message Pogue’s sending. While I absolutely agree for brevity and better communications, I feel simply publishing the mini-articles sets a dangerous precedent. As I say in my reply, one of the reasons we want David Pogue to look at our pitches is for him to provide an objective (and hopefully positive) review. By publishing the copy he receives from vendors, there will certainly be SEO value and the fact that he’s filtered down the comments and published a short list implies, at a minimum, interest.
But I’d put the value of this literal posting up there with a retweet. Essentially Pogue is saying “this is something someone else has said that sounds interesting”, please take a look. This is nowhere near as compelling as “I, the influencer, have looked at it and think this is cool”.
I take two messages from Pogue’s story, and feel the answer is somewhere in the middle:
1. We need to write shorter, better copy for people to share
2. Ideally, our shorter, better copy inspires influencers like David to review and endorse
Agree? Disagree? Any and all thoughts welcome over at Text100′s Communication Conversations.
Editor’s note: This post also appeared on Jeremy’s personal blog, Public Relationships.