Specifics Sell. Generalities Don’t.

And People Love to Be Sold. On Tuesday, I flung a pie in the face of Rupert Murdoch’s newest acquistion, The Wall Street Journal, for its cavalier treatment of the trademark fight between the two Hammer Museums. I like Rupert Murdoch. Several times

I wish PR agencies would not have women with little valley girl voices call me up, read a script about a client whose business model is extremely complicated and ask me to interview the CEO or marketing manager.

First off, I am a reader and writer. I am not a listener and talker. For example, I have had a cell phone for 10 years and have never answered a call on it and do not know the number. I am not comfortable with phones.

When I start hearing techy terms and buzzwords over the phone, my ears glaze over and I insist on an e-mail.

More often than not, the e-mail follow-up from the valley girl has no hook—no silver bullet, no delicious factoids—to make me salivate enough to do this story.

Instead, it’s usually a bunch of generalities couched in PR babble.

“Specifics sell,” wrote Andrew J. Byrne. “Generalities don’t.”

The Valley Girl-Denny Hatch Exchange
[NOTE: All names have been changed; the e-mails are otherwise as sent]

Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2007
From: Valley Girl
To: dennyhatch@yahoo.com

Hi Denny,
Thanks for chatting with me a little bit ago. Per our conversation, I’m contacting you on behalf of Viral Co., a viral marketing company based in Los Angeles, CA. I’d like for you to consider a viral marketing campaign article recently completed with CompanyT, a web-activated VOIP service connecting people between two landlines or mobile phones. Viral Co. was able to quickly create and deploy a series of strategic, socially driven programs, customized for each opportunity and target audience.

Viral Co. was able to provide CompanyT with dramatic program results and benefits from the viral marketing campaign they created including data on conversion rates, percentage of participants and peer-to-peer invitation participation percentages.

Please let me know if you find this story of interest. I’d be happy to provide you with some additional key detail about this campaign and offer for you to speak with someone at Viral Co. . Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Related Content