Day after day I am seeing tweets on my Twitter account from journalists that say things like:
- PR Pro Tip: Do NOT pitch me on Facebook, or;
- Pitching me on Facebook is an invasion of my privacy, don’t do it!
Is Facebook Private?
I am not surprised that many journalists aren’t appreciating this. I am surprised that PR professionals are slipping business pitches into a space that IMHO is “invite only” and private.
From my perspective, Facebook is a semi-private domain on the Internet. I decide who my friends are and I also decide how I utilize the tool once I’m in. Many people use Facebook as a social service, planting gardens and posting pictures to share with their friends. In my case, I utilize Facebook to catch up with old friends, share my thoughts on issues that are important to me via FriendFeed/Twitter, post my resume, share my blog, etc. For me, my Facebooking is a combination of social and business usage, and as a result, I don’t want everyone to have access.
At this point, any of the PR pros who have sent a Facebook pitch are probably thinking: Yeah, but I can send a pitch to a reporter without being their friend via the “Message Me” function. Yes, on Facebook you can pitch Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal. But do you think he’ll appreciate it?
I went on Twitter to find out. Walt Mossberg has 902 followers. He is following zero people. NONE. I don’t think it’s a leap to guess that he likes sharing what he has written with the world, but might not be as interested to hear what PR pros have to say via a social media tool.
Even with bloggers, it’s much the same. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, for example has 25,000+ followers but only follows 480+ people.
How to Achieve Results
I understand, it’s hard to get your message out to these very influential folks. So what are PR pros to do? Follow the rules. Of each individual journalist, and pay attention to follow out what those rules are. Paying attention will lead to results.
But nothing is definitive. I believe as much as some journalists dislike Facebook pitches, there MUST be some out there that love them, right? I have created two new groups on Facebook to find out.
Journalists, bloggers, writers of all kind, please help us PR pros out! Please click on one of the pages and register. What do you think? Should Facebook pitches stay, or go away?