While studying for my yoga teaching certification, my instructor was always telling us to “know our audience.” Would you teach a handstand in the middle of the room to a beginner? I might, because I really like handstands, but it probably isn’t the best idea.
Same holds true in the media world. I get a lot of calls and emails from reps that clearly have not done their homework. They know nothing about me and nothing about B+L’s clients. Here are some of my favorite offenses:
- Addressing me by the wrong name — Jill is common. Really? If you can’t even get my name correct, don’t expect a response or a call back.
- Asking what clients B+L handles — um, we have a website that has that info. And, wouldn’t you want to figure that out before you contact me, so as to propose options that are relevant for a specific client? No — apparently they feel that just throwing it all out there and seeing what sticks is the better approach.
- Asking about clients we have not worked on for years — I kind of get this, since old client work is on our website… but it is still really annoying.
- Sending or dropping off random items that I would not use (i.e. bubbles and lollipops?) Media reps like to send gifts and I am really appreciative of that. However, I think the gift should fit the person or it is really just a waste of money.
- Pitching an idea that is not at all a fit for a client. Did you do any research on the client? I have no interest in the oldies station if my target audience is college kids. Don’t try to sell me on it or change my mind.
B+L has a great website that not only lists what clients we work with but also has bios on each employee. A word of advice to media reps: take some time and scan the site to get to know who you are trying to solicit advertising dollars from. Then do some research on our clients to figure out if what you’re selling is a fit. Then email me…and my name is Julie, not Jill.