“Hi” and “Hello” are some of the most powerful words in language. Say them with emotion, you express how excited you are to see an old friend or relative. Say them just the right way to strangers, you just might open up a new channel of communication with someone who might otherwise be hesitant to talk with you. In the world of hellos, email is not much different than real life. If someone starts an email to my reporter husband by writing “Hi Keith,” he’s ready to read the next line. Someone took the easy step of at least learning his name before presenting a story idea. If it’s so easy, why do so many communicators skip this step? Here are some examples of how marketers start their emails to reporters:
- Attention Journalists
- Hello (without the reporter’s name)
- Media alert
- Media press statement
- For Immediate Release
Some communicators top their emails with a Las Vegas approach: big, bold colorful headlines as if they are working at a major media outlet (or tabloid). Reporters get lots of pitches every day. They try to read pitches while also working on the day’s assignment. Give reporters an excuse to delete your email before reading it and they will. If a communicator can’t take the time to address a reporter by name, why should a reporter take the time to read the email? This is such a small step, but taking it can make a big difference. You probably wouldn’t walk up to someone and say “Greetings!” or “Media Alert!” Keep it personal. Get them at “hello” and don’t forget their name.