Dear & FIRSTNAME

Jul 05, 2016
I received an e-mail today from a well-respected magazine asking me for copy for its forthcoming issue. Now I know I’m only one of hundreds of people on the editor’s list, but being addressed as Dear & FIRSTNAME doesn’t exactly give me a warm feeling inside, let alone make we want to respond in a positive way.

It is of course only a mistake and I’m not really offended by it, but it does demonstrate a lack of care on the part of the sender and rightly or wrongly gives me a very bad impression of the company it came from. Especially as it publishes magazines and is therefore in the communications business! 

Hello, my name is & FIRSTNAMESloppy admin and a casual attitude to business communications appear to be on the increase, due partly I fear to social media.  While it may be okay to have the odd typo on a private Twitter or Facebook post, anything that is representing a business or organisation needs to be correct in every detail and if it isn’t the brand will suffer. 

Here at The Words Workshop we produce a number of magazines and we rely to a large extent on press releases and pictures from PR agencies for their content.  Perhaps surprisingly many of the stories we are sent lack basic information such as dates and locations.  I had one the other day that talked about saying a sad goodbye to a colleague, omitting to mention that the poor chap had died, whether he’d left a wife and children, or even the date he departed.  There was a picture – black and white – but it was too small to print properly and was out of focus!

In today’s multimedia age everyone can be a publisher and mass communication is no longer restricted to newspaper editors and broadcasters. The downside is the standard of material being circulated is in rapid decline and it seems most people just don’t care.

What will become of us?

David Jordan ...or is it Dear & FIRSTNAME?David Jordan, Director, The Words Workshop