Say you have an idea for a product or application and have been developing the app or you have had someone else make it for you. If you’re trying to spread it to the masses, you may have thought about approaching blogs like MakeUseOf, magazines, and other outlets so they can feature your product. I, for one, receive quite a few such requests to review applications on MakeUseOf by email and Twitter, sometimes even via Facebook messages.
I know you as a developer, must be eager to share your application, which is something I am usually happy to help with, especially if the concept behind your product is fascinating or if your product is well-executed or both. In other words, I usually don’t intend to shoot anyone down as I admire anyone who either envisions a fabulous concept, is passionate about an idea, or executes a design well.
However, good PR practices are also key to getting your product and ideas out there. For me, these include a few things that are nothing new – good email etiquette , some common sense and avoiding certain annoying tactics. Seriously, a horrendously annoying PR email advertising it can destroy its potential in front of an audience (me in this case). That is, the way the PR representatives approach me in their communication can absolutely make a difference in how seriously I consider the application for review.
Some of you may be interested in developing your own applications . If that’s the case, the following are a few common-sense practices that could come in handy for you, and some you should totally avoid (at least in my opinion anyway) when you want to pitch your product for a review.
Don’t: Send Generic Emails –> Address The Person You Are Writing To
If you somehow found my email (jessicacw at makeuseof dot com), there is no way you don’t know at least my first name. I don’t think it is that difficult to add a simple “Hi Jessica” to the beginning of your email.
I have no problem if you prefer to use canned responses, but I think it’s reasonable that these should be customized slightly for the person whom you are asking to review your application.
Don’t: Send Lengthy Emails –> Keep Your Emails Concise But Informative.
Maybe you need more than one paragraph to truly show how valuable your product can be. That’s fine, but try to keep your email readable with several concise paragraphs. If your text is so long that I have to scroll down, you’ve probably written more than you should. Try to think of this email as a place to present your elevator pitch, you know, where you give me the basics of your programs in 30 seconds or less, which is sort of how long an elevator ride can take.
Don’t: Send Multiple Copies Of The Same Email –> Send One (At Most, Two) Follow-Up Emails.
Please take into consideration how many more individuals out there are trying to do the same thing as you, pitching their idea for a review. If I don’t respond to your email, it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you. It’s because an article for your product might not be suitable for the time being, since perhaps your product was already reviewed in another angle already. Perhaps it’s because there are other products ahead of you that still need to be considered before I can get to yours.
The point is, I really do not need more than one (or two at most) emails reminding me to consider some application for review.
Don’t: Subscribe Me To Newsletters Without My Consent
To some people, sending generic emails isn’t a rude gesture. Thus, I suppose they think it is quite alright to automate the process of sending generic emails by signing me up for unsolicited newsletters. If you are on that bandwagon, don’t blame me if your email does not get any love from me.
Do: Please Spell-Check Your Email
If you are trying to communicate in English, I’d suggest you at least try to double-check your email for errors or use spell-check, especially when the primary language you speak is not English.
Have you got something to add to my list of PR pet peeves or do you think I’m being too finicky? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.
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