A couple of days ago, I received an email from a local operative at a large, international, PR agency. The content of the mail was simple: it asked me to send the operative a copy of a 2010 feature list.
The mail opened with “Hi there” and did not mention a publication.
By now you have figured out that this was a mass mailer.
I find that pretty odd. Here was a PR person asking me to devote some time and attention to them, and they could not even bother to personalise an email to me.
This agency, for what it is worth, uses the following phrases to describe itself on its web site:
- “… passionate, straight-talking …”
- “We embrace technology and know how to make brands relevant and stand out from the crowd by talking in a language that everyone understands …”
- “… we’re passionate about communication …”
I imagine that anyone who is truly “straight talking”, “embrace[s] technology” and is “passionate about communication” would realise that using “Hi There” to open an email is pretty poor. To say it in “language that everyone understands” it is, IMHPO, pathetically lazy and a betrayal of the values professed on the company’s site and makes a lie of PR firms’ general assertion that they understand media, have great relationships with us all and are especially cunning communicators trained and expert at delivering their clients messaging.
Now for email number two, from a local agency.
It was a Christmas greeting and contained a simple graphical card in which, miraculously, my name had been emblazed across a Christmas tree decoration.
It was simple, cute and the addition of a single word – my first name – demonstrated a little care and attention had been paid. That, to my mind, is professional communication.
The first email was an embarrassment of a sort that, sadly, a significant minority of PR firms still practice.