Are you a marketing or public relations, press or analyst relations or social media expert and your email messages, notes, updates or requests get overlooked? Are you in the first paragraph or couple of sentences indicating who you are representing, what the info or request is about as well as what call to action you are looking for? If you are doing what is done in many of the requests for coverage or meetings or even announcements, you may be getting overlooked resulting in a missed opportunity, that is unless your goal is to simply gauge how many requests you send out.
Now do I have your attention?
Time for some tough love.
Almost every day (not as much on weekends) my email inbox gets filled up with notes from vendor marketing and public relations (PR) firms organizations telling about an announcement, requesting a briefing, giving heads up for something that will be occurring, pitching a story, idea or looking for coverage.
Being an analyst, author, advisory consultant, blogger among other roles, getting all of those emails as well as phone calls or other messages comes with the territory. However to get to the point or, the point of this post, most of those notes or messages I receive do not get to the point. More importantly I’m noticing on an increasing basis that many of the request for meetings, coverage, or introductions to announcements are not passing the quick scan test.
The trend that I have noticed for a couple of years now is that what is being announced or what the topic is or worse, who it is about gets lost in the paragraph or two or three or more of content. Thus for those who get lots of messages a day, get to the point, save the prose and sample article or content for later, unless that is what you are sending.
In other words, tell the reader who you are representing (e.g. the company), product or focus area, what the news is about, why relevant, and call to action. Skip the long intro citing marketing research or testimonials and what read like mini articles, not to mention mentioning other vendors that might cause a quick scan to confuse the message about them vs. you or your client.
The other day I received one of many announcements or briefing and meeting requests and this one stood out. In fact it stood out so much not for what was actually being announced or by whom or what it pertained to (all of which are relevant btw). It stood out because it did what most are not doing these days. It got to the point and in about the time required for a sip of coffee, I new what I needed to know as opposed to a trip to the coffee pot to refill to read the piece.
The note impressed me so much that I asked Melissa Kolodziej who sent it to me if I could repost her note here as an example of how to do it.
Subject: News: Attunity Enhances Big Data Replication Solution for Data Warehousing & Cloud Initiatives
Please review the release below and contact me at your earliest convenience (Tel. 781-730-4073) to set up a time to interview Matt Benati, Attunity’s VP of Global Marketing. He is available for briefings this week and next. I would also appreciate hearing back from you if you plan to cover this news.
Thank you for your time and best regards,
I thought about showing an example of what not to do, however for now, lets leave sleeping dogs lay where the rest. Although I will say make sure you put a name in the name field for your email blasts vs. receiving Dear <Name_Goes_Here> or using the wrong name. The wrong name I’m used to however I may respond and have some fun at your expense so that you don’t forget ;).
Kudos and nice job Melissa for doing what should be common knowledge or basic best practices however what I now see as the exception vs. the norm from many public relations firms or vendors.
Ok, nuff said (for now).
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