If you are a business or individual that uses the equivalent of a cold-call to sell a product or service, then this post is for you.

I’ve noticed the not-so-recent trend of the lack of customization (or, hell, relevance) of PR pitches and resume submissions. (My network has been voicing their frustration.) Even on Duets, I receive at least two “pitches” a day—“will you cross-link to our site about plumbing?” Or, “I think this article on the top 10 worst movie quotes would be relevant to post on your site.” Even, “can you sell me 12 cases of Red Bull” (seems random, but here’s why that gets asked a lot). Obviously, these people haven’t read one post on our blog, let alone took the time to convince me to do more than block them as spam and immediately delete the email.

As a young professional who has had to send my resume to more than one place of business in a short period of time, I understand how time-consuming it is to completely customize any communication I send out. I’ve been guilty of trying to make my resume as generic as possible so I’m doing less customizing…and here lies the crux of the issue. Population numbers have made it difficult for any person or business to shine above the rest. There is a much larger pool to pick from, and that means those of us who want to be heard—an employee, an agency, a business—need to knock our pitch out of the park.

No blind CCs. No mass emailing to multiple persons or businesses. No auto-DMs (pet peeve). Your disingenuous, thoughtless pitch does not make us want to do business with you.

What does make us want to do business with you: your attention to detail. This means a multitude of things. That you’re qualified; you took the time to customize it and that, in turn, means you’re invested (serious), you want it, and you did your research; and you’re doing us a favor by not wasting our time (and that means we like you).

If all you do is throw out “feelers,” don’t expect to be taken seriously. You might as well not even try, because you’ll get a reputation and, perhaps, listed as a spammer. The reason any person or business lists their contact information isn’t so we can be bombarded with irrelevant things. Don’t make me block you!

Moral of this story: if you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t bother. We’ll both be saving some time.

[image courtesy of markhillary’s flickr]