10 ways to ensure a journalist will delete your emails

A journalist offers PR pros helpful warnings about taboos that will relegate your pitch to the recycle bin and, quite possibly, your email address to the blocked senders list.

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Working in PR is undoubtedly an exhausting, stressful job. As a journalist, I do my best to respond to people who reach out to me to pitch stories, even if it is just to say “I am too busy,” or “This is a topic I’d never cover—thanks anyway.”

There are a few things (well, about 10) that make the delete key look far more appealing than the reply button. A few even warrant taking the time to route anything from the sender directly to my spam folder.

Hopefully this list of 10 things that send me darting for the delete key can help a few of your emails dodge the trash folder:

1. Addressing me as Mr. Natalie, Ms. Navel, or Cindy. (I go by Natalie. Even “Hey there!” is a better option.) It takes time to go through emails. Though I try to respond to everyone who contacts me, it’s really hard to want to take time out of my day when you clearly didn’t take time out of yours.

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