Do you know how many mails a reporter gets in an average day? Anywhere from 20 – 200, depending on how popular they are. Now, whether they respond to you with a ‘Yes / No’ or not, most of them are definitely going through each and every one of those mails. But when you go through 200 mails in a day, or maybe even 50, somewhere your mind starts to automatically filter a lot of nonsense. And you reach a point where you don’t just delete a mail, you start marking a mail as spam (Confession: I have done it!)
So what’s the definite way to get marked as ‘Spam’?
1. Bulk Emails asking for an interview:
Would you like to interview my client? They are truly awesome”
Not. Kidding. I’ve received these mails when I was a reporter (Ergo, the spam). What’s worse is that you’ve just been clubbed with an exorbitant number of people, or at least that’s what the BCC’d receiver will assume. When you are asking for an interview, you couldn’t even take a minute out and address it to me? Do you even know who I am and what I do?
2. A true lack of details
Hey! You know your client because you work for them. What makes you think that I know of them? OR worse, I know what you want me to know? You know?
As mentioned earlier, your mail is one among the 100s of mails a reporter might have received. Even if the reporter is aware of the brand / company, it might not really resonate immediately.
Give an appropriate introduction about who they are. If you know me at all, you’ll phrase your mail in a way that all my interest points are right there in the top. For instance,
I am writing to you about my client, Blah Blah, who are into making Virtual Reality Headsets. You know the ones you’d like to escape into?”
VR. You’ve got my attention. See? That’s how simple it is.
3. TOO Much Information:
Well, you’ve caught my attention and you need to feed me just enough to leave me fed but hungry for more. I do not really want to know when they started, how they grew, what awards they’ve won, what their dreams were and what their CEO said and all that.
Seriously. Just put what you want me to interested in. I’m wading through 200 mails. I don’t want to wade through your mail MORE!
4. Bad Grammar:
Yes. This is absolutely a turn off! If I wanted to guess words and sentences, I’d go play one of those games on Facebook. As a reporter, there is nothing more annoying that bad grammar.
“I like you to interview”. Really? Sure, you like me.
5. Irrelevant Beat
I might tweet a lot about Pokemon Go, because I am that sort of person. But that does not mean that I write about Pokemon Go. Or games. Or technology. I might be writing about mortgages. Why are you sending me a mail about Pokemon Go? Or some other lame game?
Do this once. I might forgive you. Do this twice, I might forget you. Do this thrice and you are banned from Hogwarts. Forever.
Pet Peeve: Wrong Spelling of my name
Yes, you might find my name difficult to pronounce. I can live with that. But when you are writing my mail, it is right there – in my email. Take a minute and get it right! You are asking me to devote time to reading you incoherent mail. The least you can do is get my name right! *Rant over*