Monthly Archives: March 2011

Tip #164: Whiners never whin

As much as I like hearing from the people who make products directly, if you can’t use nice words, have your babysitter — sorry, I mean PR person — contact me instead.


I’ve been assuming that you didn’t cover the email industry because I sent you emails about [our product] with no response. Now I just read your article touting [other products] while ignoring [my product] completely. [etc…]

Do you also report on [this other field]? Our mother company has a better [thing in that field] than [competitors]. I hope that you won’t write a big article about [the other field] that touts only [competitors] as if we never existed.

Please take notice.

It is true that the author of this e-mail, Kvetch McCranklestein (not his real name), did have a point. I glossed over e-mails he sent me in the past and didn’t cover his product. But this is so not the way to make things right when that happens. And it happens all the time. The thing is, even when you’re wronged by the press, it’s rarely in your interest to be snippy with a writer. Remember what your strategic goal is: To get known and then covered by someone who’s disposed to like your product. When you complain like this, you just give writers reasons to look for excuses to not cover you.

In the case of McCranklestein, I actually e-mailed him back, at first admonishing him for his tone. We eventually had a civil and forthright e-mail conversation about how things like this happen. It felt pretty positive.

But I still haven’t covered the product.


Filed under Common sense, Email

Tip #163: Smile or die

When you reach a reporter on the phone, turn on your energy. Smile. You’re selling something, remember? Act like it. Don’t be a downer.

Also, take the gum out of your mouth, don’t make a PR call from a mobile phone, get to the point, etc. Reporters’ ears are highly attuned to tone and effort. When you’re phoning it in, we tune it out.


Filed under Common sense

Tip #162: I love the smell of press releases in the morning

Avoid carpet-bombing your press releases. That is, sending the same release to everyone in a newsroom. It just creates problems.

First, it makes you look cheap. If you don’t know who to send information to, sending it to everyone is not a good alternative. Do your homework.

And of course, reporters know when a release is carpet-bombed. We carpet-bomb our newsrooms ourselves when we get information that we want someone else to grab but that’s not important to assign to a particular person immediately. But when everyone gets the same release,  you end up with multiple internal carpet-bombings. Any impression that the information is precious and worth jumping on is wiped out.

You dilute effectiveness when you don’t focus.



Filed under Common sense, Email