After spending yet another maddening evening cleaning up my e-mail, I realized that many of the messages clogging my inbox stemmed from oversize attachments, press releases completely unrelated to my beat, and back-and-forth banter that could have been avoided with one phone call. As a journalist, I find that at least 75 percent of my e-mails are related to public relations.
Below are seven simple steps to streamline our communication, respect my inbox, and make both of our jobs easier.
1. Know thy reporter. Make an effort to reach out to reporters and know what exactly they’re looking for in regard to sources and story ideas. If one specifically covers transportation issues, don’t send him a press release on the hottest new lipstick. This may seem like an obvious request, but you don’t know how many irrelevant pitches (and follow-up “Are you going to report on this?” e-mails) I receive daily.