Building relationships with journalists is a bit like dating online. Someone first reaches out. The other person has a quick glance.
What’s on offer looks and sounds tempting, so they message back. They chat and exchange info. And finally, if it does sound like there might be a good match, they meet somewhere.
The problem is that no one seems to have written the PR equivalent to “He’s Just Not That Into You”. Or, if they have, no one’s reading it.
When you’re playing the dating game, you find out, as a bare minimum, what the other person does and what sorts of things they like. (If you’re allergic to fish, then hooking up with the captain of a trawler probably won’t work; if what gets you steamed up is train spotting every weekend, then it’s probably a good idea you let the other person know pretty early on.)
Yet, every day I get emails from PRs that are not just slightly off the mark, but way, way off: the dating equivalent of inviting Jeremy Corbyn to a Conservative Party ball. Would I like to attend a meeting about the latest in concrete technology? Could we perhaps make a date for breakfast so I could meet a CEO of a big tech firm? Might I have time to meet for coffee so they could discuss their clients – who are experts in wooden flooring?
If you don’t know what I do, what I like, who I write for, is it any wonder that I do the email equivalent of swiping left so often? Or that when you phone – even if you are very polite – it seems that I am Just Not That Into You?