How This All Got Started*

Author: Richard Media November 3, 2008
We were cleaning out the archives and found our back story –- how the Bad Pitch blog was born.

Cue squiggly lines and narrator’s voice…

The seeds for the Bad Pitch Blog were planted in 1995 when the book “Toxic Sludge is Good for You,” used some specific events to discredit the entire public relations industry. This book did not sit well with Kevin Dugan. At the time a recent communications grad, Dugan takes pride in his career and felt the book unfairly misrepresented the public relations industry.

Dugan began the Strategic Public Relations blog in 2002 and, as a result, was added to electronic media databases. He began receiving good and bad pitches from public relations people. In 2004, Dugan interviewed RLM Public Relations CEO Richard Laermer for his blog after reading Laermer’s book, Full Frontal PR.

Both Dugan and Laermer noted how public relations textbooks needed to include “street smarts” gathered from hard-earned experiences. While media relations theory is taught in college. Applied skills and media relations experience are hard-earned for PR people and hard-taught by the media.

The Video News Release “Fake News” Scandal came to a head in 2005. PR Watch led the charge to eliminate the tactic, referring to VNRs as “weapons of mass deception.” At the same time a PRSA study found that only 37 percent of consumers surveyed felt that people working in the public relations industry are a trusted source of news.

These events prompted Dugan to create a second blog focused solely on media relations. Dugan recruited Laermer to help fight bad media relations from inside the industry, drawing a distinction between the industry minority practicing bad public relations and the true victims of their work—the industry majority consisting of professional practitioners.

The blog’s goal is to help educate readers on good and bad media relations to raise industry standards. However Dugan and Laermer agreed from the outset that the blog’s content must be irreverent and fun to create awareness of this industry cause. On January 20, 2006, Dugan and Laermer clicked the publish button and the Bad Pitch blog went live.

Yeah, it’s overly dramatic and in third person. But it was for an award entry for pitch sake. We just thought you might appreciate that this blog was a decade in the making.

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** The title is inspired by the book, How All This Started, which is a great piece of fiction but it has nothing to do with public relations.