PR: What Not to Do: Insulting Those You Want to Help You
Note to aspiring web writers: if you want me to mention your website, especially with a link, then don’t be an ass. I got a press release from someone who will go unnamed who thought the following approaches were the right way to go:
1. Making outrageous claims. We’re “one of the only, if not the only, dedicated graphic novel review websites.”
2. Asking you to take too much on faith. The reviewer is anonymous, although claiming to be a professional reviewer and graphic novel creator. How are we supposed to trust him or her? How are we to evaluate their biases? Did they get published through someone or just through enough money around to call themselves “professional”? We can’t tell.
3. Having the wrong motives. The anonymity is “in order not to alienate potential employers, while also maintaining complete autonomy and impartiality.” That ordering is very telling, don’t you think? The first priority isn’t ticking off anyone who might hire them, which is completely the wrong approach for writing good, useful reviews.
Speaking of motives, the site was launched because when the reviewer’s own graphic novel was published, “I was very surprised to discover that there’s limited graphic novel review resources, online and in print.” Ah. You didn’t get coverage, so there must be a gap. Couldn’t be that your book didn’t look like it was worth talking about, could it? Dunno, we can’t judge because Anonymous refuses to say. Occam’s Razor suggests sour grapes, though.
4. Launching with too little content. Right now, the site (which uses a standard blog template, which looks unprofessional) has all of one review. And it’s of a superhero event collection, which calls into question just how Anonymous defines “graphic novels”, as well as his claim to be providing something different. Superhero story reviews are a glut on the net.
5. Insulting the competition. Oh, wait, it turns out that there *are* other review sites (see #1), only he thinks they suck. “What few online graphic novel reviews that exist are usually amateur and would never get within a millions miles of print.” It’s always funny when someone makes a stupid typo when calling other people amateur, isn’t it?
6. Thinking you can change the world. “Graphic novels are finally going to get the attention they deserve.” Whatever would they have done without you?
Now, given all this, why would I want to publicize their efforts? Especially since, with one review and no track record, it could easily fall apart in a month. If you want to be recognized, spend more time on doing the work than making claims to try and make yourself feel special.