The Wirednot Memo to PR/Marketers

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 RequiredWhether 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?

14 thoughts on “The Wirednot Memo to PR/Marketers

  1. gcatewifi

    I like your comments, Lee. And I get many (but not all) of these emails and agree with your comments on how irritating they are! Here are some thoughts for PR/marketers: Build real relationships with clients. Learn and understand their business needs. If you have a product/service that can help meet that need, great! If not, suggest a vendor who might be able to help and move on. (ah, but that won’t make money–or would it? Hmm…..) Good post!

  2. Frank Sweetser

    My personal favorite lately is “This isn’t a sales pitch, we’d just like to send you some free reading materials!” Yeah, thanks, I already have plenty of that.

    This is usually paired with my other personal favorite “Can I just verify that you email address is ?” Nope, not even close.

  3. Jim Vajda

    Yes, yes, 1000 times YES. Nothing worse than the desk phone cold call. I stopped answering calls from outside my area code years ago because of this. Kind of mystifying that some of these things seems to be part of the standard marketing playbook.

  4. John Steely

    My personal favorite: “I’m going to be meeting with , and we thought you might like to join us, as our discussion is relevant to your position.” Of course also gets one of these, with my name as the reference. Talk about off-putting!

  5. John Steely

    My personal favorite: “I’m going to be meeting with (colleague name here), and we thought you might like to join us, as our discussion is relevant to your position.” Of course (colleague name here) also gets one of these, with my name as the reference. Talk about off-putting!

  6. Steph Wills

    As a newbie in the PR world, this is all really great to know as I have no intention of being annoying!

  7. Dilip Advani

    i was trying to read my emails to you in the last 2 weeks, and see if it fell in any those categories..point by point……I am glad it did not 🙂

  8. Pingback: Dear Marketers- If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me | wirednot

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