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Four Crazy Pitches
By: Mike Bush
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This week, I set out to find some of the strangest pitches flacks have used to secure coverage. Among the responses, there are four that really stood out for me, and each brings with it an important reminder for PR people.

Shaun Walker, from HEROfarm marketing, offers:
Last Christmas Ever” — In 2011, HEROfarm launched the Last Christmas Ever campaign on behalf of its client Joe Shopping. The idea was to play off the fact that if the Mayan calendar was right, Christmas 2011 might be the last one ever.

He says, “We got a great response from the media of 'this is great' to 'I can't believe this'  including a write-up titled 'This is the last Christmas ever. I read the press release.'

Sample coverage included:
Our PR Takeaways:
A well-executed story idea that jacks a trend will generate press. Also, it’s OK to be funny.

Becky Blanton, a TED Global Speaker, sent the pitch she’s used over the years:
“In 2006 I was living in a 1975 Chevy van in a Walmart parking lot with my Rottweiler and a cat. In 2009 I was giving a TED talk at TED Global in Oxford, England, courtesy of Dan Pink, best-selling author and former head speech writer for Al Gore.”

Becky says, “What's odd about the pitch is that rather than tell the editor why it's a good story, the pitch goes for the editor's interest, not his/her readers. If the editor is curious, his/her readers will be too.”
Our PR Takeaways:
She’s right about pitching editors as through they’re the audience. The pitch has secured her a spot on the TED Global stage, opportunities with SixWords, Slate, and so on.

Alex Ruggie from 911 Restoration sent a note saying his go-to subject line is “I Stole Your Dog.” In fact, it’s been so popular that his subject line has its own media following.

Our PR Takeaways:
It’s great to be funny (although we secretly wonder how many reporters now have Alex’s email earmarked for their spam folders).

Finally, a quick shout-out to Emily Taffel of Mugsy PR, who sent a note about a story pitch for Magician Remy Connor with the headline "Magician Remy Connor Robs the Media Blind" about a blindfolded magic act where the star pickpockets the audience.

Our PR Takeaway:
Sometimes the headline writes itself.

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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