I receive at least a few news releases every single day in my inbox for new! and! exciting! health-type products, services, promotions and books. And to be honest, most of these news releases annoy the hell out of me because there's just so many things wrong with them.
Here is what bothers me the most about many of the news releases I read:
1) Misspelling of my name - or the wrong name altogether. Dear Whitney, we have a new health product we think you might be very interested in! Yeah, my name isn't Whitney. This is poor proofreading on their part, that the person sending the news release has simply copied and pasted their email and forgot to change the name at the top. I have nothing against copying and pasting, but you should at least change the name at the top, even if you aren't going to personalize the entire email. And if you are going to use my name, please do your research on me ahead of time so that you know my name is spelled "Sagan," not "Segan."
2) Misspellings, grammar errors and typos throughout. It's one thing to make a typo or grammatical error when writing blog posts and the like: it's completely different to make those errors when you're writing in a professional capacity. Edit, edit, and edit some more!
3) Geographical errors. If you take the time to do you background work, you can generally find out fairly easily where a person is located in the world. So I really don't get why I keep receiving news releases for events and promotions taking place in California or New York. I currently live in the Canadian prairies. Anyone can find that out on my health blog or on Facebook, both of which show up on the first page when you type my name into a search engine. Google me before sending me a generic news release that doesn't apply to me at all.
4) Products and services that don't fit my philosophies. Most bloggers state their philosophies pretty clearly on their blogs. When I receive news releases promoting books that talk about the best frozen meals, I can't help but laugh. You only need to skim one of my Living Healthy blog posts to see right away that frozen meals are not something I condone.
5) Ridiculously lengthy pieces of text that don't get to the point. Sometimes I receive news releases that don't seem to say anything in particular or have any sort of relevance. There's no news in there at all! You can bet that most bloggers and journalists and the like are receiving piles of news releases daily, so please, only send something if you actually have something to say. Otherwise your email address is going to be added to the spam list, and when you do have something interesting to say, we'll ignore it. And that's not good for either of us!
What annoys you the most about news releases?