I don't need a personalized email invite/press release/media alert

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.

7 comments

  1. Well, they can invest in email blast software (not expensive) that inserts personalised name into the email. That will make everyone happy then. The PR companies become more efficient in sending emails, without risking the boo-boo of revealing all email addresses in the “To:” field and the recipients who demand personalised email gets them too. :p
    .-= Cobalt Paladin´s last blog ..5 Minutes To Midnight =-.

  2. My definition of a personalised email to a blogger is to introduce oneself and explained how one got the bloggers’ contact in the email especially if it is the first time contacting the blogger.
    It is similar to introducing yourself in real life to a stranger, in person or with a phone call.
    I have seen bloggers responding negatively via their blogs or tweets why a certain pr agency never introduce themselves or explained how they got their contacts.
    Maybe as a prominent blogger, you have been receiving tons of emails to press conference and invites. After awhile, you become immune to the emails and don’t really if it is personalised or not.
    Same same for the press folks. The initial email pitches and invites are attractive to one but after awhile, an email pitch is just a pitch, doesn’t matter if it is personalised or not.
    The problem here is not with the blogger who insist on a personalised email but the PR folks who follow textbook line by line that emails to bloggers have to be personalised.
    Once you create that relationship, the personalised email is therefore not necessary. But most PR agencies don’t score high in the relationship department, be it with the media or bloggers.
    .-= Aaron Koh´s last blog ..Debunking Five Social Media Myths =-.

  3. Cobalt Paladin: Mail merge can do it. But then, personalization is more than just having the name on the top. It’s also a personalized message in the body. I think that 1 a bit hard to replace with a software. 🙂

  4. If requiring personalised message in the body, then it’ll be difficult and time consuming during crunchtime situation for the PR agencies. So finally, it is up to the invitees to decide if they would wanna attend the event if they didn’t receive personalised invitations.
    .-= Cobalt Paladin´s last blog ..Nature Of The Beast =-.

  5. Aaron: Agree that there is a need for introduction if that is the first time engaging the blogger. But after that, there isn’t really a need.
    I’ve seen many PR agencies and companies doing a good job in building relationship with both traditional and new media.
    I personally do not think its the PR folks who insist on following the textbook. It seems more like they are doing it just in case the blogger insist on getting one.

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