LAST CALL: HHS loses track of time in latest pitch

Everyone knows that one of the best ways to pitch a client is to

tie it to a special event or holiday, so at least the folks at Health

and Human Services (HHS) had their hearts in the right place. Now if

only they'd checked the calendar.



In honor of Labor Day and the new school year, the HHS' Center for

Substance Abuse and Prevention tried to interest editors in its

director, Ruth Sanchez-Way. A letter circulated to national media read:

"With Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer just weeks away,

parents across the nation are preparing their kids for school. As you

plan your story calendar and coverage, please consider an interview with

Dr. Ruth Sanchez-Way."



Overall, this was a professional and effective pitch letter. One

problem: it was dated Saturday, September 1 and was postmarked

Wednesday, September 5, almost a week after Labor Day.



Kind of makes you wonder what the folks over at the substance abuse

center are smoking, doesn't it.



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