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)
- Don’t tell me what I already know.
- “Brrr . . . it’s cold outside!”
- “Winter has arrived in Chicago!”
- 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?”
- 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.)