I saw a study recently conducted
by Harris Research about
the use of email in the workplace.
While it is no surprise that the study shows email is the most
frequently used application for collaborating with others, nearly 40 percent of
respondents said they receive too much irrelevant email.
I have to wonder how many of the
study subjects were reporters. Public relations practitioners are
notorious for sending untargeted, non-personalized emails to reporters,
bloggers and analysts. The idea
behind this practice is to throw as much information out there as possible and
hope that some of it sticks.
Josh Bernoff, an analyst with
Forrester, put his analyst hat on and took a look at this phenomenon. What he found is that 53 percent of
emails he receives from PR people referred to the industry he hadn’t covered in
two years and another 22 percent were completely irrelevant. Just a slim number even bothered to
personalize emails or refer to something he had written.
It’s hard to explain what’s
happening. Are PR people getting
lazy? Are they relying on
technology to do their job? Do
they not understand the role of the journalist or analyst?
Successful public relations
practitioners are useful to a reporter or analyst. They follow what the reporter and analyst are covering,
follow industry trends, and help to package information that is relevant and
It’s time for the PR industry to realize that
success is about delivering relevant information, not the most email messages