Every time you write and send an email to a reporter, there’s a purpose behind it. Every email has certain things that you want it to achieve.
How effectively you achieve those things determines how successful your PR efforts will be.
There are three main goals you have every time you email a reporter. The better you understand these goals, the better equipped you’ll be to achieve them.
1. Get the reporter to open your email
First things first—you need the reporter to open your email. It seems simple enough, but as most of you know, perception is now always reality.
Reporters get tons of emails throughout the day. Being the busy folks that they are, they don’t always have the time to open every email. So, what they sometimes tend to do is open the emails that look most interesting or that come from people they know.
That’s why it’s important to craft emails with irresistible subject lines and to build relationships with reporters so they begin to recognize your name.
2. Get your email read
This is not the same as getting your email opened. Just because someone opens your email doesn’t mean they’ll actually read it. If a busy reporter opens your email and sees a huge block of text that looks like it’s thousands of words long, he or she will likely be scared away from reading it. Maybe the reporter will save the email with the intention of reading it later, or maybe the reporter will just delete it.
This means your emails need to be short, clear, to the point, and easy to scan quickly (use short paragraphs, bullet points when needed, etc.).
3. Get the reporter to do something
When you email a reporter, you typically want that person to take some specific action. Maybe you want them to email you, or call you to setup an interview based on your pitch. Maybe you want the reporter to click a link you sent. Maybe you want them to run a correction on a story (be careful when asking for this). Or maybe you just want them to keep your name in mind whenever they need a source in the future.
Whatever it is that you want the reporter to do, you need to remember it when writing your email. Every word should contribute to getting the recipient to take that action.
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article originally appeared.