I’m pretty sensitive to the premise that all people have value, and everyone has their job to do. I also know that there are some jobs I couldn’t do well, and I respect people who can fill those roles. I’m no better than anyone else under the sun, and what I’m about to rant about.. well, it isn’t personal- it’s just business. I interact with a lot of marketing folks and PR types, and I’m really thankful (generally) for the information sharing that they do in the technology markets. At the same time, there are certain habits/tactics/styles/approaches that absolutely turn me off. Please- if you want to interact with me in any of my professional roles, then don’t use these methods to engage.
Calls to My Desk Phone. When I’m at work, I’m pretty darn busy. There is zero room or patience for phone calls that come out of the blue. Cold calls for me are irritating enough, but it gets worse. Often these are fishing expeditions; using my extension as a pivot point to find out who in the organization is actually responsible for some specific technology. Let me save you the trouble: I’m not telling, and any and all phone calls will be met (initially) with a polite “no thank you”.
Announcements That Joe Blow Changed Positions or Companies. There is not an exec out there that I could give two figs about when they change positions. If they change companies, get promoted, whatever- I don’t care, and don’t want to “know more about this exciting development”. No ego-stroking for me, and I don’t believe my readers care in the least.
Company X Did Something, Do You Want to Hear What Guy From Company Y Thinks About It? Um… no.
The Follow-Up to Emails I Didn’t Respond to. “Lee, I wanted to follow up on my earlier email… the one that you didn’t answer. Will you reply now? Or now? Or… NOW?”
No. No. And no.
The Follow-Up to “My Colleague’s” Email. “Lee, I notice that you didn’t reply to that other person’s email. So maybe if I hound you on the same topic, you’ll reply.”
Nope. Please don’t do this. Now I’m irritated by you AND your colleague.
Naming Your Time As Your First Interaction With Me. “Sure, I don’t know you but this thing is so compelling I want to talk to you today. Is 1 PM good? Or Wednesday at 2?” Actually, no time is good because you lost me.
Telling Me My Response is Required. Whether it’s for a survey or a sales pitch, don’t nobody own Wirednot. My response isn’t required, because your idea of a requirement and mine are very different.
Contextless Performance Claims. If you come to me with claims of whatever you’re marketing being 10X better or 50X faster or whatever, you’ll find zero interest. These are over-generalized gimmicky statements without context, and they are off-putting.
The “Would You Like to Review This Product?” Pitch- With No Follow Up. So, you’ve asked me if I’d like to review some gadget. I say yes, I would. Then you don’t reply. Six months later, new gadget, same pitch, same cycle of not responding. Two strikes and you’re in my junk mail.
Botching My Name. “Dear Badman”. “Dear FirstName”. “Dear <Potential customer first name>”. “Dear Mary”. Oh dear. Just go away. Enjoy wallowing in my junk email folder.
Threatening to Cut Me Off- Follow Through, Already! “This MAY be the last email you get from us if you don’t respond to our marketing…” I’ve been naughty and need to be punished. Stop sending me these emails, and teach me my lesson already, I beg of you.
And there you have it. I don’t claim to speak for all busy networking professionals and analyst/writers, just me. These are the PR and marketing techniques that shut me right down, and completely kill my interest in ever learning more from the those on the sending end.
For those reading, am I off-base here? And are there other examples that rub you the wrong way?