We here at StudyPR know all about email writing and processing. We have spent countless hours sorting out our emails and contacting our professors, journalists, contacts and friends. As future PR practitioners it is vital to network and email, especially clients and journalists. If you need help or guidance on how to email an important person, then you have come to the right place. Our studyPR guide on ‘how to email’ has thus far worked for us:
To email a journalist you will need to:
1. Have a short catchy subject line. Do not use “news release” or “press release”; at best you can copy and paste your headline into the subject. Alternatively, you can write something that will go along with the press release which you are sending or the story which you are trying to pitch.
2. Add a short introduction that connects with the other person on a personal level. i.e. ” … hope you can use this, I thought it would be of interest to you .. would like to stay in touch, any queries are welcome”
3. Copy and paste your press release or write the story which you are trying to pitch
4. At the end of your message, add your signature i.e.” Andrei Philip Iacob , Third Year PR student Westminster University” , make sure it sounds good and conveys a sense of professionalism.
5. Check everything over and over again, re-read at least 10 times, make sure everything is grammatically correct and appropriate. Complete the send “To” , to whomever you wish to send it and send it.
To email a person of interest, such as someone you met at an event or even contact a journalist but not send them a press release, you will need to:
1. Learn all about the person which you are emailing. What does he/she write about? What does he/she believe in? You want to show that you know them a bit and that you show your appreciation for their work or even praise some of their accomplishments. (make sure you do that in moderation, too much and your email can be discarded of)
2. If in doubt, use the “CCR rule of emailing”: 3 simple sentences!!
Always start by saying: “Hi … ” (if it is a contact you recently made, “hi” delivers more of a personal touch) Alternatively you can use for organisations “To whom it concerns” or “Dear … “, in the case that you know the respective person’s name.
A). Relate to some of their work, something they have said at a conference or written somewhere. Any contact you will make in PR will have said or written something which is their own opinion in some article in a blog or newspaper or on Facebook or Twitter. Say: “Read your recent work on PR and Journalism or “listened to your speech on PR and Journalism … ” it is the best way to get a reply. You are basically stating “I know and like you from something specific which you have done … “. Keep it short, simple and a mix between formal and informal.
B). This where your second line can come in and you can say: “This is what I do …” i.e. “I am writing a piece on or talking about …” , should be more or less something which he can help with. Remember! this line is the entrance for your third and final line of the email which will be a question. This is the ‘reason’ for which you have sent this email to him/she.
C). Third and final line is your question, your bottom line! “If PR has changed journalism, can you claim that journalism has changed PR … ? ” . Make sure you always end on a question, so as to build conversation with the person whom you have emailed. PR is all about engagement and essentially, you are engaging with your client/contact.
Make sure you end with “Cheers” and your “name” for a more informal feel to your email or alternatively, for a more formal interaction you can use: “Kind Regards, …” , “Regards, …” , “Many thanks, … ” , “Much appreciated, … ” .
StudyPR highly recommends: “use a URL as part of your signature in your name”. It is an easy way for your contact to see who you are, what you are on about and if he/she can trust you. i.e “Philip” and I usually attach a Twitter or LinkedIn account or even a Blog sometimes. The person on the other end of the email is one click away from replying to you.
3. If you would like to write more to your person of interest, then make sure you are concise in emailing your query. Conciseness is key here! Journalists, business people, PR people and sometimes even bloggers are extremely busy. It would be best if you could include in the first line of your email something along the lines of: “I know you are super busy… but if you have time … it is only two questions I need answer to …”. The shorter you keep it, the more likely you will get what you came looking for.
4. Look to contact his/hers network. You never know who is friends with who and sometimes, one of your friends or contacts might be in touch with your person of interest. Do your research and stay focused”
5. Keep it thankful and professional at all times and introduce a question so that it allows for a two-way communication especially towards the end of your email. i.e. “Thank you so much for … , by the way, i need help with something” or ” … also, i am looking for … can you help? ” ; “would you consider?”.
We here at StudyPR hope this “HowTo” article has been of much help to you.
Do let us know if this has worked for you, because it has definitely worked for us!