Credit: Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot,

Want to amp up your PR efforts and make this the year you get the exposure you’ve dreamed of for your business? This secret (but simple) mindset shift will change everything: Editors are people too.

They aren’t just uber-cool guardsmen at a renowned gate, letting in good stories and keeping out the bad: They’re people who like to know that their work is appreciated and that you took the time to seek them out specifically. When you do your research and write a personalized email that’s complimentary, helpful, and makes things easy (i.e., link to your website so it’s easy to click through), an editor is almost guaranteed to take the take the time to read it and respond.

It’s so impactful, we want to say it again: The No. 1 way to make an impact with an editor is to truly personalize your email. Compliment something they’ve done specifically, whether it’s a piece, book, a great Instagram shot, or copy that makes you laugh out loud. (Although if you’re drawing from social media, avoid referencing an editor’s post or a photo that’s overly personal — you don’t want to come off as a stalker.) Bonus points if you can then tie that knowledge of their “beat”—area of expertise—into your pitch. For example, if you loved their recent piece on workout pants, it would make sense why you’re reaching out to her about your new line of runner’s earmuffs.

We recently hosted a gathering of small-business owners to hear what THEY wanted to learn in our upcoming PR School. And a woman who had worked at a PR firm for years asked: “I blast out 1,000s of emails a day and never get a response! How do I get a response?” And now you know the (phenomenally simple) answer: Stop sending out thousands of emails.

Send targeted, personalized, delicious emails, and then cultivate relationships with the right kind of follow-up—and you’re on your way to getting the PR of your dreams.