I’ve said this to several PR folks when I meet them during events. I guess maybe I should said it here for those whom I don’t get the chance to say this.
I do not need a personalized email when you send me your invite/press release/media alert/etc. Just send me what you usually send to the traditional media or whatever convenient to you.
I don’t know which social media guru came up with this idea that when engaging new media, you need to personalized your email. It just doesn’t make sense to me. What is so special about a personalized email? It’s just an email with your name (or online nick) at the top, a few personalized message/greetings and follow by the standard template press release/invite/etc. It doesn’t mean anything to me. You don’t get extra brownie points. I’m only interested in your content. What’s your product/service/event and how it will interest me and my readers. That is all I need from an email by companies or PR agencies. I’m totally ok if the email begins with “Dear media friends” or “Dear bloggers” because that’s who I am.
I know some people said that new media is about building relationship (actually, traditional media is about building relationship too). I totally agree with them. But building relationship does not mean sending personalized email. You build relationship thru interaction, be it online or offline. Building relationship is about being sincere. It is perfectly alright that you don’t read my blog, my tweets or listen to my podcast. Just be honest about it.
I’m perfectly ok if PR agency or company wants to send me a personalized email. But honestly, I would prefer you save that 5 minutes of your time to do something else like finding out which aspect of the service/product would interest me and my readers. Or send the email to me 5 minutes earlier so that I can receive the information earlier than others. Don’t waste your time on a personalized email. Grab a cup of coffee if you have extra time. (Very unlikely in most PR agencies)
Recently, I’m seeing a growing number of bloggers who demand companies/PR agencies send them personalized email. And I’ve been persuading them not to be so picky about such trivial stuff. Sometimes the company needs to send out the info to a lot of people. How would they have the time to personalized every single email?
Sometimes I asked myself, what is so special about me that I deserved a personalized email? And I couldn’t find a reasonable answer to that.
So if you are sending me an email invite/press release/media alert, do not feel obligated to personalized it just because I’m a blogger. I don’t really care about it. If you personalized it, thank you. If you don’t, I’m totally fine with it. What interest me more is the product/service that you are launching and how it will interest me and my readers. And honestly, if someone is more interested in the personalized email rather than your content, then maybe you are pitching to the wrong person.