Lately, I have been writing a lot of Email that are more didactic and I promise you that they will not be a complete replacement for instructional guides. I also see that content quickly started to swing between cultural analysis and How To Do Stuff, but hey, it’s free, right? If I asked for money, I would feel worse.
Anyway, recently I’ve been thinking about how my job works and what it’s like to write an email asking someone to do something. It’s certainly an understatement to say it’s the only one, but it’s also remarkable how often the process boils down to someone doing something based on an email or DM.
That’s why I write a newsletter that is basically about how it works and what it means. Some of these things seem obvious, but based on 99% of the public relations I see, they’re not very well known.
Why am I sending this email? And why am I sending this to this person?
Often, emails are sent with little regard for their purpose or existence. Sometimes they seem to be right – for example, a public relations person presenting an “idea for a story” that has nothing to do with you – but the logic doesn’t seem to flow. The soul of what you write must be working to make something real, and everything in it must be part of the purpose.
The email must also be valid for the person to whom it is addressed. This means researching them and understanding not only who they are and what they do, but also how to apply the email you send them.
What do I want? And what do they need to know?
Suppose you complain to a hotel manager about a bad stay. The temptation for many people is to go crazy with threats and swear words to scare them off. It doesn’t motivate anyone! What you want to do is expose exactly what happened, the consequences of what happened, and what you would like in return. You can also say that you are not satisfied and that you will not return unless there is compensation. More importantly, email is not just a message of anger and venom – even if you think so, the person involved probably didn’t do the wrong thing personally, and even if it wasn’t helpful, persuasive, and illustrative in the past the time is a hundred. times more effective (and moral) than hurting someone.
In many cases, with reporters, this isn’t quite what you say, “I want you to write about this story,” especially since your assessment of something like this is a story, not just a “no” message. What you do gives them the tools to assess themselves, and if they do, it’s a sign that it might be a story they need to investigate for themselves.
Be useful (and easy)
Whatever you ask, it’s the easiest to manage. Do you want them to talk to you for 30 minutes? Provide the availability of your calendar or a Calendly link so they can choose one. Do you need to speak to a customer? Be ready to respond and introduce the customer, and God please respond quickly. Do you want them to write a story about something based on your email? Add everything they need – prices, screenshots or images, facts, and figures – and make reading as easy as a Google Doc.