Help Me Help You

Jonah Takagi – Silk Road Collection
You know that really frightful frienemy who might start a conversation, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I think you should know….”?  Well, she does want to hurt your feelings, but I am really just trying to help here.  
Lukas Peet, Rudi

I’m going to do a little bit of housekeeping and talk email press releases.  Now, there’s going to be someone who is thinking (or commenting – likely anonymously), “You know what?  You’re pretty darn lucky to be receiving press releases at all Miss High and Mighty,” and, truly, I am.

Lindsey Adelman, Blow (one of my favorite lights ever)

So, I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out a few things that could help us to partner a little easier.

Jason Nuller, Endless

Mrs. Blandings’s Top Five Tips for Email PR

1.  Picture This.  If you are pitching to bloggers, images are essential.  If there is a compelling image in the email – preferably in the top portion that would show in the preview format (as opposed to opening the email) that is best.  The likelihood that I will open the email, or further, click a link to see a picture is very slim.

2.  Either know me or don’t.  If you are going to include a name in the salutation of your email, please go over your database.  Years ago someone must have entered “Mrs.” in the first name field and “Blandings” in the last name field of a database associated with my email.  It’s not that I care or take offense, it’s just when I receive an email with “Dear Mrs.,” I assume that this is a humongous mailing and I am less likely to read it.  An email or release with no salutation does not bother me in the least.

3.  Party Girl.  I want to go to your event.  I really do.  Unfortunately, few of them happen in Kansas City, so I am forced to regret.  A couple of things here.  New York, is, obviously, the center of the universe. Even so, it’s a good idea to put the city on the invitation if you have a national mailing list.  Secondly, I really want to respond.  I don’t know the ins and outs of this, but it would be a huge help if the response could be delivered to the sending address (so “reply” would be all that stood between us) or if the reply email on the invite could be hot.  I imagine this is tricky as so many of these invites are really lovely (truly) PDFs, but it would help.  Especially if I’m doing business on my phone in the orthodontist’s office.

4.  Know Thyself.  As a fellow blogger said to me the other day, “Everybody has a blog.”  The upside of this is that you can hit your target so easily.  If you actually visit the site at least once.  I love sustainable, organic, green products, but that is not my gig.  You can send me your release, but as it’s not my focus and it’s so unlikely that it will be a good fit.  (Unless, of course, it involves a Greek key or Boxer pups or needlepoint.  Then you’re in.)  It’s a good idea to take a quick a look and see if the content is a match.

5.  Forgive Me.  I won’t begin to tell you that I am any busier than you are, but this is not my job and I don’t have a year-end review where someone sits across a desk and says, “Your response rate to blind email is unacceptable.”  What I am, really, is scattered.  I have a number of people who expect things from me both big and small.  If I’ve overlooked a release or request, please forgive me.  If you think it was an oversight, please email me again.

Jonah Takagi, Bluff City

For those of you to whom this is completely irrelevant, I’ve included some of the lights from Roll and Hill’s recent collections because their email newsletter was so appealing.  You can find them at the International Contemporary Furniture at the Javitz Center in New York from May 19th – 22nd and on-line here.

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9 thoughts on “Help Me Help You

  1. I totally hear you! Please don't pitch children's products, plumbing products, avant garde kitchens, or products that are not yet available in the US. I'm not going to read beyond the first sentence.

    And please don't address me as Dear Pigtown. That's not my name.

  2. This line from Roll and Hills is fabulous! Very unique and interesting! Love the last best!

    Art by Karena

  3. 1. Check – I never open attachments unless the pitch is do dead on perfection that I can't help myself.
    2. Check – although aside from the random "Dear Jessica" pitches, it's not been a problem for me.
    3. Check – so true, I'm always having to research what city street address only invites are from, just in case it's a location in Boston I don't recognize. It never is. NYC is the center of the universe, but I always live in hope for local invites!
    4. Check – And if you haven't done this research, please don't start your pitch with "we love your blog!"
    5. Check – we're all busy, but if you want me to do something for you, make it easy on me!

    Great points all.

  4. I routinely get invites to art gallery receptions in Los Angeles. I live in the Boston area. And frequently read about how fab a past Boston event was in another design blog!

    Great lights!

  5. Hi Patricia, Great post–I think that this memo applies to many, many life situations. I WILL REMEMBER IT!!

  6. I live in KC- I'm having a kegger, wanna come?

    ha ha- love the lights and my favorite is the Adelman one too!

    Well, this just makes me feel like a loser, I wish I had to do a post to explain why I was turning down so many fabulous invites….

  7. Great points! I have followed you for years (when I started blogging in 2008)and I have seen the explosion of your popularity, well deserved (and now also on AD…)of course you are flooded with invites and requests. Bravissima.

  8. Hah! You might have added these immediate turnoffs:

    Just touching base
    Circling round – what? the drain?
    …a player in the online space
    reaching out

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