Stupid Publicist Tricks

Or, how to get me to ignore your press release.

1. Misspell the name of your comic. If you can’t bother to re-read the thing before you send it to me, I can’t bother to pay attention to it. In the particular case I’m thinking of, spell-check would have caught the error, since it turned a word into something that wasn’t English.

2. Forget the basics. If you’re promoting a convention, every message should include the full date of the show and the location (with city AND state for those not local). If it’s a comic, include the title, publisher (or URL for a webcomic), creative team, and when/how it’s available for purchase. (Presumably, that’s the final goal: to allow people to buy your product.) I once got a press release that somehow had neglected to include the title of the comic they were trying to promote. That was dumb. I’ve also gotten PR that left me wondering whether I could buy the item now or later, since there was no mention of release date.

3. Confuse me. Your press release should have a clear message. After reading it, I shouldn’t be left wondering what the “news” is you’re announcing. If you want me to talk about your product, I have to know what makes it special or interesting.

4. Be demanding. I got a message recently from someone who told me to review their comic on a particular day of release. First off, I’m too backlogged to make that happen, but more to the point, you don’t get to tell me what I write about when. Now, it is a very good thing to mention when you’re trying to time your publicity, but do so professionally and politely. In this case, the wrong tone was the problem.

5. Clog my email. Don’t send me 8 or 9 meg attachments out of the blue. Send me a query, first. A link to a private download site (that doesn’t require creating some kind of account) is much better.

Just some thoughts on how to make things easier for all of us.


3 Responses to “Stupid Publicist Tricks”

  1. L. Nichols Says:

    Ha. Totally.

  2. Alan Coil Says:

    2. “City and state”. Exactly. Have your convention in Springfield–there’s one in almost every state. I’d say I’ve seen a dozen promos over the last few years that didn’t include the state.

  3. Journalista - the news weblog of The Comics Journal » Blog Archive » April 6, 2009: Google News is not your enemy Says:

    [...] Johanna Draper Carlson explains how to convince the comics press to ignore your press release. [...]

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