Monday, November 13, 2006

November Tip - The Email Subject Line

With so many seasonal events coming up, you want to make sure you get plenty of publicity. Right?

Have you gotten feedback from your local TV station regarding the information you send? The following comment was sent to me today by a seasoned news director at an NBC station who felt I would be able to share his advice with promotional people.

You have asked, at one time or another, why some of the material that PR firms send out never gets any attention. Well, I decided to use the forwarded message attached here as just ONE of the reasons we don't see them.

First, and foremost, the subject line contains only "press release"... and, it isn't even capitalized. For a person who gets, on the average, 400 e-mails a day (not including those that go into my junk mail), there is absolutely no reason that I should take the time to open this. Normally, I would have deleted it immediately. But, as I've heard time and again, "everyone and everything can serve as an example". In this case, this is a BAD, BAD example that I thought I'd share with you.

On top of that, the use of "press release" went out when television came into play. The correct version, today, is "Media Release". But, keep in mind, if you use that, it will be automatically deleted by most members (except the totally bored) of the media.
Since I had several such innocuous "press release" e-mails today, I have now added "press release" and "media release" (used in subject lines) to my junk mail parameters. At least, they can be wholesale deleted without me even having to look at the individual e-mail subjects.
Just my Monday morning "thought for the day".

So, how do you prevent this type of reaction?

Diagnose your subject line in your email. Include the date and name of event. That will pop. Spammers have learned about "Press Release" and "Media Release" in the subject line. As a result, if you send something like that, the chances of it even being opened are zero.

Marketing Tip - Take a local reporter or editor to lunch. What does he/she want to see in the subject line? You never really know until you ask.

No comments: