The three worst words you can include in an email pitch are “Attached please find…'”

The editor or reporter already knows there’s a press release attached from the subject line and the attachment icon. Out of the dozens of emails he or she gets every day, why should the editor open yours if you haven’t told him or her why in the subject line and opening sentence?

I recently opened such an email only because I’d recently spoken to the company and was impressed with their research on IT spending trends. The press release had an interesting story idea — that compliance and regulatory requirements are driving IT spending to an unprecedented degree — but I had to scan the press release to find that angle. Even then, the only quote from the expert who had done the polling was to restate the main findings, without adding any of the color or examples that would tell an editor “There’s a story here.”

Here’s a different approach:

Fear Pries Open Corporate Wallets

Fear of not complying with increasingly complex regulations is boosting IT budgets at many Fortune 100 companies, an XYZ study found today.

The survey showed that 70 percent of the major companies polled in XYZ’s semi-annual survey have increased their budgets for regulatory compliance. “In our 50 years of tracking IT budgets, we’ve never seen any one factor drive as much spending,” says Guess D. Results, head of the company’s research division.

“At one company, the information security officer told us he’d been trying to get funding for an intrusion prevention system for years,” says Results. “Yet the CFO only gave the go-ahead when one of our competitors was hit with a high-profile theft of customer data. In some ways, all this fear about regulations is the best thing to happen to corporate security in years.”

Based on the quality and depth of this vendor’s research, I’ll bet they could have prepared a press release like this — if only they had remembered an editor will only spend a second scanning each email, and that email must convince them to read further.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

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