One Thursday evening, the Delhi 1 group of IPRF on WhatsApp, suddenly got into an intense discussion (nothing new, Delhi groups of IPRF WhatsApp Forums are always busy in intense discussions) on something that almost 60% of PR practitioners think that’s how it needs to be done. But most members on this group were challenging something that was believed to be accepted and normal. They were discussing on the general practice of BCCing the journalists, material that needs to be sent out to media, be it press releases, pitch notes and everything else that you wish to send out to your entire media universe just by a click.
The discussion was sparked by Arupjyoti Gogoi, principal consultant at Millennium PR. According to the study that he had casually conducted with help from some of his media friends brought forward the fact that over 60% of press releases and 40% of pitch mails are routed to them using BCC. This practice as per him is as prevalent in all big consultancies as well as their smaller cousins.
So what? That’s the easiest, most convenient and fastest way of reaching many in the fraction of a second, and as long as the work is done, who cares? But is that true? Are these emails reaching the intended receivers? May be not, may be the emails from BCC straight land-up in the spam, may be the security system in most publications are simply black listing emails coming from your domain. Actually there is no may be here, but seriously most top publications have these systems in place and they are up and running very efficiently.
Not only that, there are also limits to the size of your attachments, many email servers do not accept emails that have attachments of over 3Mb and there are many other unknown policies that exist with most publications. The fraternity will be grateful if you are aware of any and let everyone know about the same in the comment section of this post.
The traditional wisdom and yes the old school who had always preached ethical way of communications insisted that mail yield better results, when addressed personally. Better still, it will yield more results if sent to relevant journalists and not to retired, non-existent and journalists who have stopped practising years back. If trouble taken to understand the current interests of the journalists the results will be even more relevant. This practice may sound tiresome, waste of time and painful but it is only right way of communicating. But hold, technology here too always existed to help you, i.e. Mail Merge. Will need some practice before efficiently using it, but believe the experts it is worth it.
Many may still disagree with the above, but this is definitely worth debating, so let’s get talking. Share what you think…