Seeing red: lazy emails, cold calling and what it takes to win a FTSE business

Chris McLaughlin, vice-president of external affairs and marcoms, Inmarsat talks agency behaviours he can't stand.

Chris McLaughlin: Vice-president of exernal affairs and marcoms at Inmarsat
Chris McLaughlin: Vice-president of exernal affairs and marcoms at Inmarsat

Everyday I'm plagued by lazy, misdirected and irrelevant emails. Yesterday it was from two digital marketing maestros telling me that they have the solution to everything.

Siren calls whine from bland emails and promise: "Never pay for a press release again", or speculatively enquire: "Have you a need for our services?" If they don't know, why email us?

I dislike mail that assumes we have met and seeks to leverage a meeting or that assumes I care about a new business and its achievements. What is the point of: "Dear Chris, X & Y associates have been operating for three years and we specialise in FMCG products"? Don't they know we operate satellites?

Pointless cold calling is also on my list of hates. If someone asks: "Is that Chris McLaughlin?" my invariable answer is: "Why?"

There is hope. Good agency operators including College Hill, Hudson Sandler, Portland, Bell Pottinger, Finsbury and Brunswick do send interesting and compelling material. I like to learn and each has invested in the long term to entice interest and build trust.

Our roster changes over time and rewards those that do so. Winning a FTSE's business requires time and patience. Relevance and review are our watchwords.

We know what Inmarsat can do for you, so please don't get in contact, unless you are clear what you can do for us.

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