The PR Pundit: Don't get attached to attachments
by Eric Ward, President of NetPOST.com
How do I properly send attachments to the media
Eric Ward's response:
The short answer is that you don't. Ever. It's
considered a huge breach of etiquette. However, let's
discuss a little deeper.
If the target of your Email is someone whom you do not
know and if the email address you are using was not
provided to you by that person, then it is never, under
any circumstanes, proper to send an attachment. Ask
permission first. Wait until permission has been
explicity given to you.
If the target of your email is a journalist whose name
and email address are listed in the 'contact us'
section or masthead of a magazine or Web site, it is
still NEVER acceptable to send them an attachment
without permission. A plain email yes, an attachment,
If the target of your email is someone you have sent
email to before, but never an attachment, it is still
NEVER acceptable to send an attachment.
Wondering why I'm being so difficult?
Several reasons. First and formost, it is impolite
to assume that the recipient of your email has the
needed software to read your uninvited file. Even if
they have the software, how do you know they have the
disk space to handle your absurdly large
attachment and images? And if they do, do they really
want 60 percent of it taken up by your one message? Nope.
Second, it is in MS Word attachments that the majority
of all macro viruses reside, and these easily written
and spread viruses propogate far faster than anti-virus
software can catch them. I run auto-scan in my inbox
and have had it miss many viruses.
Third, and this is perhaps more important than the
first two, the act of sending an unsolicited attachment
to someone you do not know tells that person you do not
care about their time. It says, "I needed to get this
news out and I didn't care to verify if anyone wanted
it." It says, "I really don't care if the people I'm
sending this to can read it." And lastly it says, "I
don't care if I infect your machine with a virus."
What a great message to send, eh?
There really is only one scenario where you can send an
attachment via email to someone's inbox, and it's
If the target of your email is someone who has told you
personally that they want you to send them these
Back to top