Good public relations management practices: Reach Reporters Using Email


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Computer industry analyst Stewart Alsop is on the road more often than he is in his office. He checks for his messages and returns the most important ones. He can be reached anytime, anywhere, anyplace by sending messages via email. He always responds quickly, if not always favorably.

This must be one of the best ways to reach reporters.
Using email is a sure way of getting reporters’ attention because:

• it bypasses the stack of pink “While You Were Out” message slips;
• it bypasses the stack of incoming press releases;
• you can send a receipt with the message that tells you when the reporter read the memo;
• you can reach reporters when they are on the road; and
• most reporters like getting email and respond quickly and politely.
(Scott Mace of InfoWorld takes the matter a step further: he invites electronic press releases and looks forward to the time when paper press releases won’t exist.)

There is an etiquette about using email.

Messages are brief (100 words or less), use short sentences and lack formality.
This makes email great for sending quick pitch letters, follow-up letters, and thank-you notes.
Avoid writing long letters (anything longer than 24 lines is long – that is the space it takes to fill one computer screen), and don’t use electronic mail for longer documents such as press releases, press kits and backgrounders unless the reporter specifically asks for them.

Also, don’t badger reporters with messages like, “When are you going to review my product?”