An e-mail thank you note was sent to myself and another colleague from a recent interviewee.
Each note contained a typo. Each typo was different. My typo thanked me for our Monday meeting when the meeting was Wednesday. This error was made more glaring when the interviewee thanked me again for my time on Wednesday.
My colleague's typo was worse. The interviewee referenced a competitor, instead of our company, in this thank you note.
It does not take CSI to figure out that the interviewee spoke with a competitor on Monday.
The above story should make you laugh or cringe. But it speaks to the danger, and ineffectiveness, of mass customized media pitches. What if the thank you notes in question were pitches from a pr person to two reporters at the same media outlet?
WARNING: TRITE REVELATION FORTHCOMING
Truly custom communications are essential to media relations success. One pitch sent to two outlets may be an attempt to increase your odds of placement, but it is more likely a sign that the pitch is not newsworthy in the first place. Disclaimer: This is not ivory tower preaching. I'm guilty of this sin and, as a result, speak from experience.
So, to recap for the billionth time: conceptualize your pitch, pick your target and create your pitch taking your target into consideration. Conduct your pitch. Give it time. Follow-up with your contact to add to the pitch, NOT to find out if he/she got it. After a predetermined amount of time, consider a new, predetermined target—or start the process all over.
Reminds me of "Lather, Rinse, Repeat." No matter how basic the thought or concept, sometimes folks just don't get it.