In my last post, I wrote about a pitch that easily got my attention. It was very direct with language that made me feel something right away. Now I’ll tell you about an email that made me answer out loud. And, by the way, I work alone . . .
Anyway, I send pitches all the time. Did I say all the time? Yep, I mean every single day and some get the attention I’m looking for and some, I am sure, never get opened. I got one of the latter the other day. Now, my email program sort of opens anyway without really opening. In other words, if I click on the email, it’ll open in this box and yes, I am certain there is probably something I can do to minimize that, but this computer I’m working on is brand new and that’s just not something I want to deal with right now.
So I get this email and the subject line says, “Can I give you a call about this?” First, of all: no, you can’t. Second of all, what on earth does that tell me in the ever- precious subject line about what you’re pitching? When someone asks me if they can call me about something it’s usually to try to work out a dilemma. Sometimes they’re even asking for my advice, which I’m not too comfortable with (though I do that in this blog all the time, so go figure . . .).
Now, for you, my treasured readers, I am opening the email and sharing some of it with you just so that I can make my point. So first I’m asked if the sender (who shall remain anonymous) can call me about this. Oh, and that’s the other thing: if you’re a stranger, the only reason you can call me is to tell me something really interesting. So here’s the first paragraph:
Playing is the only “job” a child has and it should be fun; Parents want that playtime to be educational also. There is a lot of hype and focus on “web-connected” toys but many parents are searching for traditional yet creative toys that help kids think.
Okay, forgive me, but we’ve got a typo here folks and I know, I know, sometimes I forget to proof my work here in this blog and for that I am very, very sorry. But my posts are not media pitches and media pitches should be typo-free. So the “P” in parents should not be capitalized. Plus, there’s something about the phrase “There is a lot of hype and focus” that’s a little unbalanced. Plus, I’m having a hard time in this first paragraph land knowing what the writer is getting at. And while I’m at it, let’s just nail this thing into the ground: I don’t like the first part of the first sentence. Playing really isn’t the only job a child has. And while I understand why the word “job” is, in fact, in quotations it really sort of takes away from the point. As you probably have guessed the pitch is about a toy company, but the writer has put this reader on the defensive.