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Friday, February 03, 2006

Publishers: Spend more money on stuff

Guardian journalist and blogger Charles Arthur recently posted another tip for the legions of PR people desperate to get a message to him.

Don't send attachments, he says. I'll only delete them, and your message too, as I have such a teeny weeny email allowance.

Shame. The journalist vs PR power struggle isn't new - I've regularly been surrounded by journos giving PR people a hard time. But doesn't Charles' post expose his employer as having an IT policy straight out of the Dark Ages (or, at least, the late Nineties)?

50 megabytes? FIFTY?! My inbox would melt in three minutes. On a slow day.

How am I supposed to trust a major news outlet when it provides me with news about the world when I know it's internal policies are so off the mark?



Blogger David Tebbutt said...

Attachments are often huge and pointless. PRs would be better off sending a short email with a link for those who want to read more.

The principles are no different to writing press releases that get read.

A good headline (to hook interest, not to be clever) - the email subject line

A good introductory sentence (to convince the journalist to read on)

Essential facts (including price), contact points etc.

Collateral (this would be the link)

It has the advantage that interest levels can be monitored by counting the visits to the linked page.

8:30 am  
Anonymous Drew B's take on tech PR said...

I agree no attachments should be sent unless requested. It's standard practice in PR, surely?? Only those that don't know how journaliss work at all would send massive attachments to them all the time.


What's with The Guardian's mentally tiny mailbox size limit!! Hmmm, not like they expect to be sending or recieving lots of emails or anything being in that profession!! No wonder The Guardian's Tech Section's writers use Gmail to collect stories!!


9:56 am  
Blogger Jon said...

I warmly disagree with most of both of your statements.

Journalists are just people. It seems that some of them are just people with a bizarre attitude to receiving email.

Every journalist I've met has no issue with email attachments of whatever size. While I agree it would be unwise to send ANYONE emails with 'massive attachments all the time', I don't see why journos are any different.

The only thing that sets them apart is the seemingly ancient attitude of many publishing houses towards corporate IT.

In reality, it should be the publishers that have the largest and most accomodating email inboxes. After all, when I capture a newsworthy event on film via my mobile phone, who am I supposed to email it to?

10:09 am  

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