Why PR pros should avoid the email ‘blast zone’

Copied-and-pasted emails with all-caps subject lines, sent to dozens of reporters and bloggers, will only lead them to ignore you. Here’s what you should do.

Reporters and bloggers who find themselves on major lists are routinely assaulted with emails with subject lines written in all caps, “shouting at me.” The emails are mostly copied and pasted, with no personal appeal to the recipient. Stratten told the audience in no uncertain terms that that’s bad.

“If your main function in PR is merely to blast out copied-and-pasted emails to press, you are a data entry clerk,” he said, adding that the only other emails he receives with all-caps subject lines are Viagra spam.

What PR pros ought to be doing, he said, is getting to know the people they’re talking to. The purpose of having an email list isn’t to send every pitch to everyone on it. It’s to seek out people with an interest in the subject at hand.

Once you form relationships, you won’t need all capital letters in a subject line to get people to notice your emails. They’ll open them because of your name.

“PR doesn’t stand for public relations,” Stratten said. “It stands for what you see right now. People react, people respond, and people reach out.”

How to do it right

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