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How not to do it

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I received an email this week that announced a new accessories brand launch, which I was vaguely interested in until I read the sign off: “Love it if you could announce this online?”

Say, what? Announce this online? Sure thing. Any particular platforms or sites? Any specific publications that you think I might approach? Or should I just put it on WhatsApp and send it to my mum?

I share this with you, not to annoy you, or to put down the PR industry, but perhaps as an example to share with junior colleagues or newcomers into your business of how not to approach the media or particular journalists.

This is not the normal standard of approach I receive from PRs and that’s why it stands out.

I receive a lot of carefully crafted emails from individual PRs every week, many of them personally-tailored approaches about their brands, taking into account the titles and online platforms I regularly work for, their audience and the forward planning and timings required. And because they are the most targeted and considered kinds of pitch, they’re the ones I can usually act on. I also receive many standard press mail outs, which don’t take these things into account but I understand you can’t give everyone the bespoke treatment and it’s still helpful for me to be aware of new brands and news.

But generalised call-outs like the above are sloppy and pointless. They’re a total waste of time and a client’s fee. You know this and I know you know this. Just make sure everyone else in your company does too.

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