Opening sentences…


Here’s my advice on avoiding mistakes in PR pitches, supported by the openers of actual emails, along with my italicized comments. (Fleur: this can also be used in general emails, content, and more)

  1. Don’t tell me what I already know.
  • “Brrr . . . it’s cold outside!”
  • “Winter has arrived in Chicago!”
  1. Don’t act as if you know me, unless you do.
  • “If you don’t read this now, you’ll hate yourself later.”
  • “We think this would be great for you!”
  • “I hope you’re doing well and staying warm. It’s quite cold here in NYC, but I know it has NOTHING on Chicago. I was a there a couple of weeks ago and thought I’d die!!”
  • “Hi Mark, I hope all is well! Are you getting ready to watch some NFL Monday Night football at a bar?”
  1. Don’t assume I know what you’re talking about.
  • “This is MJ from the Quarter team. I would like to introduce the Quarter Super Charge Powerbank to you, a PowerBank we developed to take advantage of the MagSafe.”
  • “Remember Aereo Inc., the startup that attempted to transform the pay-TV industry and was shut down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Jun 28, 2014?”
  • “Today the Illinois Blockchain Initiative announced its partnership with self-sovereign identity solutions leader Evernym, leveraging distributed ledger technology to provide secure digital identity solutions.”
  • “Teeny Drones, creator of the Teeny Drone – a speedy, durable and lightweight quadcopter; and SheDrones, an emerging nonprofit that will engage, support and train girls in unmanned aerial systems and related technologies, have announced a co-sponsored contest.”
  • “Are you covering ASCO this year or is someone else at the paper?” (No further explanation about ASCO. When I asked what ASCO was, the emailer replied that it was a big medical show and he was surprised I didn’t know all about it. But I wasn’t covering medicine.)

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“#audiences prefer long titles 97 characters, #SEO best practices: #Google advises to limit titles to 60 characters. #Facebook headlines of 40 characters perform best. On #Twitter, it’s between 71 and 100 characters. On #Linkedin, between 80 and 120.” Read more:


  • Longer Headlines Improve CTR: Median CTR improves when headlines have more words and characters. Performance peaks at 90-99 characters and 15-16 words in length.
  • Use Numbers And Special Characters: CTR performance improves when numerical numbers and special characters ($, !, &, ?) are used in a headline.
  • Include Words That Relate To Your Topic: Including keywords that relate to the topic or category of your content will grab the reader’s attention and improved CTR performance.
  • ‘If It Bleeds It Leads’ Is Not Always True: When looking at both positive and negative words, the median CTR improves when positive words are used in a headline.

According to a Study, There’s a Good Chance You’ll Click This Headline Because It’s 97 Characters