Addressing a reporter by the wrong name – even if it’ s just a simple misspelling – almost guarantees a reporter won’t respond to your emails. Read this blog for more reasons why reporters don’t reply to emails/pitches.
To put it this way, you never send a grammar Nazi a cover letter with misspellings, try to fast talk a fast talker or send a reporter – whose job is to avoid fact errors – a pitch with a fact error that hits as close to home as a botching his or her name.
The fact that misspelling a reporter’s name or getting it blatantly wrong is so easily avoided is what makes it such a sin. Google the reporter, look at the staff list of the news station or ask someone at the news desk or the switchboard for the correct spelling. Don’t be so inconsiderate of a reporter’s time that when they choose to open your email as opposed to the hundreds of others in their inbox, they see you couldn’t even take the time to get their name right. It will make an impression, and trust me, it’s not a good one.
You may think I’m blowing this way out of proportion, but put yourselves in the reporter’s shoes. Your inbox is inundated with requests from businesses and PR professionals begging you to cover their stories day in and day out. Don’t you think it’s a given that you cull the email from the person who can’t get the facts straight when so many others do?
I don’t think – I know I would.