Let's Do Some Maths


Let’s Do Some Maths I reckon to get about 250 emails a day. Fewer during the school holidays, considerably more during the run-up to those peak “food events” like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Of those 250, about 75 will be internal and only a small proportion personal to me. (I could open a small jewellery shop with all the “Earring found in the level 11 ladies’ loo” messages I get.

Although admittedly only one for people with just the one ear lobe). There’s probably another 50 or so that are so totally irrelevant – I’m still on a lot of home and interiors mailing lists from a page I used to caretake some 15 years ago – that I can ignore them.

That leaves 125. I’d say about 25 of them are invitations: to restaurant launches, bar openings, one-to-one tastings with head distillers, and of course press trips. I probably go out once or twice a week, tops, so you can instantly see that I’m turning down 99 per cent of them.

Then I’m left with 100 story pitches/requests for coverage. A day. 500 a week. I commission/write maybe 4 stories a week. Maybe one or two of them will have their origin in an exchange of ideas with a PR.

Which means, unless my maths is very wrong, your email has at best a 0.4 per cent chance of success. I’m afraid the odds are very badly stacked against you.

So two things: don’t take a lack of success personally. And do all you can to swing those odds more in your favour.