I got an email, nay two emails, about a supermarket’s latest wine offer. It came via their PR company who shall also rename nameless.

Why two emails? Well, both were the same, but the first addressed me as Myles (and it’s not for the first time).

I’m actually not really pissed off, I know how these things work. Mistakes can be made in whatever CRM tool or email software you use.

However, what it does say to me is that on top of getting my first name wrong, you’re trying to automate the personal touch when you add  ”I hope you are well”.

So, not only do you not care what my name is, you actually don’t give a hoot if I (or Myles) are well. You care about getting your PR piece done before you move onto your next client task.

So, don’t take this the wrong way, it’s not directed at you, not even the PR company you work for, but the processes you follow.

I’ve three pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t fake it.
  2. Don’t automate it (sure you can use CRM software in the backend to know I’ve three kids, came to this or that tasting, blogged or wrote about a winemaker and drove to Clare to meet the guy), but remember this: garbage in, garbage out.
  3. Foster real relationships (and my all means catalogue whatever detals in a database afterwards, if you need to.)

With real social experiences (that’s meeting people for real and looking them in the eye or calling them on the phone), you have a massive opportunity to make real connections to reach out, connect and to tell authentic stories.

Sure, this kind of stuff takes more care, more time, but if you really believe in what you do, then it’s worth that investment of time, effort and love.

All the best,


EDIT: having had a friendly conversation with the PR company, a person who is warm, friendly and just lovely, I’ve taken out some identifying pieces of content. My aim was not to get anyone into trouble and they would have been easily identified by the client association.