Trylon Communications  - Volume I Issue 1
Scourge of the poorly written e-mail
Trylon Communications Staff

You are pitching a journalist on a story idea about how your new technology is going to change the world.  In this case, you do actually have a story Ė your technology is solid and the applications are obvious.  If you land this story, sales could go through the roof.  The only problem is, you canít get the journalist to answer your messages.

If you are like most marketing folks today, you do a lot of research and media list building on the web.  You find the people who write about your industry and you target them to receive your press releases and updates.  And usually, the first thing they see from you is an e-mail.

It amazes me how much money and effort we put into marketing materials, sales collateral, web pages, product sheets, and every print piece we produce Ė yet when it comes to e-mail we donít punctuate, spell, or use correct grammar.

Somewhere along the line it became ďacceptableĒ to use e-mail like a third grader.  Just sit at the keyboard and pound out your message.  Donít worry about how it looks; the recipient will get your drift.  This is instant messaging after all.

I know how I feel when an erudite colleague sends an e-mail that is barely literate.  I feel slighted.  I know that they were in a hurry and that itís OK to send e-mail like that, but to me it seems as if they just donít care.  If I donít know them, I think they donít know better, and thatís even worse.

Donít get me wrong, I donít think we need to go to style sheets and letterhead, but I do think that we should proofread our e-mail before it goes out.  In the many cases when your e-mail is the first thing someone sees from you, shouldnít it look as good as it can?  Donít we remember the old adage about a first impression?

Now we go back to the journalist and the story pitch.  Maybe the first thing the journalist received from you was an e-mail with a short paragraph introduction and a link to some collateral material.  The introduction itself may have been what turned that journalist off to begin with Ė they may never have seen the collateral material at all!  

Itís true that the Internet makes everything happen faster.  We can communicate in seconds over the web.  And people can judge us on our first impression just as quickly.  Take the time to make your e-mail as professional as you are, and you may see better responses to your inquiries.