- Ego (also known as Pride)
When you pitch and you focus more on yourself instead of caring about what is important to the magazine, their staff and their readers. This occurs when your pitch is entirely self-focused as opposed to relating it to why it matters to the magazine and the readership.
- Shotgun Approach (also known as Greed)
This is when you take the same basic pitch and send it off to a handful of publications without ever customizing it and making it personal to a direct target. It is so transparent to publication editors when this is done and it is a great way to get your pitch ignored. Tailor what you are sending and whom you are sending it to. Have a narrow focus as opposed to attempting a wide spread in a small amount of time.
- Restricting the Pitch (also known as Lust)
It is dangerous to believe you are too good for a smaller feature. If your goal truly is to help a publication while getting yourself some exposure then you would welcome any opportunity that presented itself as opposed to expecting or demanding a cover, for example.
- Being a Hater (also known as Envy)
Don’t get upset when others get the feature you wanted. Realize that perhaps they had a better pitch, pitched earlier or have a stronger relationship with the magazine. Use it as a sign to set up your efforts even more to earn the features you get.
- Overpitching (also known as Gluttony)
Although greed and gluttony have similar characteristics, overpitching happens when you try to replicate the same story or content in various publications. All this does it make you look like a self-consumed glutton.
- Being Overly Aggressive (also known as Wrath)
It is completely acceptable to follow up on your pitches to magazine editors or to pitch new content on a regular basis, perhaps monthly. However you should not be contacting editors several times a week or being overly aggressive in calling and e-mailing. Be respectful of their time.
- Not pitching at all (also known as Sloth)
The one guarantee that your pitch won’t get picked up is if you never actually send it out! Put it together and click send.
James Patrick, ACG, ALB