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How to test your media pitch with a tame journalist

I note that heavyweight UK business and consumer journalists Guy Clapperton, Sally Morris and Lori Miles have lauched a new PR training service called What The Press Wants.

As the name of the venture suggests, they ought to know better than most exactly what journalists are looking for. Among the various courses provided, I also noted that they are offering a “test your pitch” service to PRs.

In their own words: “About to launch an expensive, creative and high profile PR campaign? Why not give it a trial run in the privacy of your own building before rolling it out to an unforgiving audience? With full non-disclosure assurance, we can send a journalist with relevant senior experience into your office for a test run – to spot any glitches or highlight any positives you may have under-developed.”

I know this kind of thing has been tried before and I wish them all the best with it. However, I’ve always wondered who the real target customer for such a service would be – the client who has commissioned the PR campaign – or the PR company who has created the campaign? Perhaps it would be better to get the journalist involved at the campaign creation stage rather than spend time, money and effort building something only to find out it has as much chance of working as a chocolate fireguard.

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