Every so often, I open a personalised email from a PR and it turns out to be a brief paragraph or two followed by a press release that I’ve already received — from the same PR or a colleague of theirs, but indirectly — a week or so prior.
This tends to irk me for two reasons. Partly because, as someone who reads (or scans) every press release they obtain, it’s a time-waster, and partly because it feels duplicitous.
It’s not duplicitous, of course. I do know that. I’m aware that most journalists — especially those working in editorial positions, who get an average 75,894 emails a day — do not and cannot read every press release. For those people, the tack of a personalised resend makes clear sense. I suppose I hope that PRs would know that I do read releases, and so not to bother with me. But that’s absurd: I’m not nearly so important that any PR should give me such VIP treatment above all the rest.
It’s also impossible for you to know whether each journalist — excepting those writing fabulous Roxhill columns — reads or misses/ignores your press releases. Press releases which you’ve spent a good while crafting, too.
So what is feasible? Perhaps always ensure, whenever resending a press release amid a personal email to a writer, that you admit that it is one the recipient has received before. And perhaps incorporate a brief note of apology, too, followed by some textbook flattery. “It’s worth a go because I love your writing.” “Country Townhouse & Interiors is the client’s favourite magazine, you see.” “Normally we wouldn’t send a release twice, but in your case I had to try.” Not that such blarney would ever work on me. Never! Ahem…
Richard’s press release of the year…
“The breeziness of this news update from Jenny at Responsible Travel is excellent, with lots of tidbits. And the CEO comment, which I — and surely most journalists — skip is also mercifully short.”