I think I upset a PR woman recently

I get dozens of press releases each day. They clog up my inbox. So I unsubscribe if I can, and if that isn’t an option – I ask to be removed from their list. But when I receive a personal email, related to my work? That’s what gets my attention…

I think I upset a PR woman recently.

On an average day, I get dozens of press releases. And this massively ramped up when corona hit. I get it: I have a parenting platform, and I’m a journalist, so they are hoping for coverage. But there are two main issues with the bulk of these emails.

1. They are almost always blanket press releases. A mass mailout. This is the easy option but not the most effective. What works a lot better is a custom-written email. Use my name, make-it personal. In fact, take it further: connect on social, develop a relationship.


2. The targeting is often so OFF. This particular press release was about chocolate. Yeah, I like chocolate – but I never write about it. I cover parenting, business, freelancing, women’s issues. Not chocolate. Not even food.

But the last straw was the SUBJECT LINE IN CAPITALS TO GET MY ATTENTION. Instead of just deleting it, as I usually do, I asked to be removed from their mailing list. And this may have caused some offence. She said that I was on a database for editors/journalists. But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t write about chocolate.

My advice is this: if you want to get press coverage for your business, or your clients’ business, firstly: create a story. Or react to the news. Have an opinion. And secondly, target the right people/publications. And speak to them like you’ve done some homework.

Our inboxes are all constantly filling up. Send something thoughtful, and it’s much more likely to lead to coverage. #PR

If you’d like to learn how to do your own PR, I run an online course: DIY PR: Secure press coverage and grow your profile. Start when you’re ready, pick up all my secret tips and tricks. And start getting the coverage you deserve for your business.

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