First email received ( a generic press release type in my opinion – giving a bit of information, fishing for any possibilities ) :
We would like to give brief insight on <redacted> office project, headquartered in Mumbai.
We all know space constraints the city faces , but <redacted> team dressed 1600 square-foot space into tranquil set-up, putting rest to thousand limitations
<redacted> Is dressed for success,the 1600 square-foot space is tailor-made to stir the inventive juices amongst the employees by the employees.
<redacted> team’s solid engagement to ensure the ubiquitous combined ideas and minimal intervention design philosophy is set right, to create Work In progress style concept.
Please find the story of <redacted> Studio, and let me know how we can take it forward.
My response : “Hello! Take it forward for what exactly please? :)”
Second email received : “Let me know if you would be interested to use <redacted> Studio office project.”
My response : “I’m sorry but I’m still not sure what use you think I have for the office or the photos or the press release :)”
Third email received : Good Morning! If you plan to visit Mumbai, we would like if you can visit <redacted> Studio for a day and work from their office to experience a profound office culture. Being an experience collector, this could interest.
My response : “Good morning to you too. I’m sorry but I don’t work like that. I will visit Mumbai to do a story on the studio if the studio hires me to do so. If I’m in Mumbai for another assignment, I’m sure you understand that the brand that has hired me would not like me to take time away from their assignment 🙂 I do only paid features – since I’m a professional photographer / blogger, I like to get paid for the work that I do! For future reference or any future possible work, my blogging rate card and media kit are attached to this email – I’ll be happy to discuss and explore how we could collaborate anytime. Thank you for your time <redacted>! Cheers!”
Fourth email received : “Thank you Naina for the host of information.”
“We would like if you can visit“… Sure you would. WTF bro! But WHY?! Why would you think I would like to visit? You want me to come all the way to Bombay based on a speculative office-space / studio visit? At my own expense? Fuck off already. And “Being an experience collector, this could interest.” Hell yeah it could, if you’re paying. I’m a professional experience collector, ergo, it is my profession, ergo I charge for the services provided, ergo, you need to pay bro.
I’m used to being sold the line of, “We will give you exposure, so work for free.” but this was the first time they’ve used my own brand’s tagline to try and get me to do something for free!
And OMG these daft press release type emails need to stop. Just write down clearly what it is you’re selling and what it is you want from me. I might still make fun of the email but at least I’ll know what I’m making fun of! The first email is so vague it turned my brain into JELL-O. “Er… WHUT?” Maybe I’m not getting it, let me re-read it. Nope, still nothing. “But what do they want Naina?!” Who knows! Let’s ask! BIG MISTAKE.
How do I erase all these silly experiences from my neural networks?!
More anecdotes and stories in the #WTFNaina series. ( These are all inspired by true stories. Some written emails, some from face-to-face meetings. They have all been piling up for years now and I’ve decided to put them to use! )
Photo by theilr. License via Flickr.