PR: What Not to Do: Send Incomplete Information

Diamond Book Distributors logo

I got the following press release from Diamond yesterday, titled “Diamond, Oni Press Extend Distribution Agreement”.

Diamond Book Distributors has extended its agreement with one of independent comics’ most respected and innovative publishing houses, Oni Press. DBD will continue to provide sales, distribution, and marketing services for Oni Press, selling its graphic novels and other merchandise into book stores, mass-market merchandisers, libraries and other outlets worldwide.

“We’re very excited to continue our relationship with Diamond Book Distributors,” said Joe Nozemack, Publisher of Oni Press. “Their sales expertise with graphic novels and influence in the book market means we’re at the right distributor to grow our business.”

Diamond Book Distributors logo

“We are humbled that Oni Press has chosen to extend our agreement,” said Kuo-Yu Liang, DBD’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Their publishing line is top notch, filled with titles that expand the boundaries of the comic book and graphic novel medium.”

For 2012, Oni Press has an ambitious slate of projects scheduled, including a full color, remastered editions of the Eisner Award-winning Courtney Crumrin series, featuring the adventures of a young girl and her encounters with the magical denizens of her uncle’s spooky house; the collected hardcover version of writer Joe Harris’ Spontaneous, in which a young man tries to unravel the mystery behind the phenomenon of Spontaneous Human Combustion; and the graphic novel Rascal Raccoon’s Raging Revenge, in which the cartoon protagonist realizes his dream of vanquishing his eternal nemesis — and has to figure out what to do with his life afterward.

“Finishing QUOTE on 2012 Publishing line,” said Joe.

Pretty typical news for comics, with the exception of two missing pieces of key information. The first you’ve already noted, I’m sure. We all know that official quotes are often written by the marketing staff, with the quoted executives just signing off on the text, but Diamond PR folks must have been moving awfully fast to skip posting in the final text before sending this out. They’ve fixed the mistake in the version on their website with this text:

“Oni Press is primed to make 2012 our best year yet,” Nozemack concluded. “To celebrate our 15th anniversary, we’re expanding our commitment to quality comic books and graphic novels that appeal to a wide and varied audience. That means more comics titles for kids, a greater push into other media, and visionary creations from the best artists in the business. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with DBD to ensure more people will see our graphic novels than ever before.”

The second missing piece is the point of this announcement. How long had Oni been in agreement with Diamond previously? How long did they extend for? Without specifics, all we know is that Diamond wants us to know that they’re not losing Oni as a client. In many industries, there isn’t much news value in “we’re doing our job, so customers aren’t leaving us”, but comics, as always, is different.

The lessons to learn here are twofold as well: Stop and double-check your mass mailings before clicking that send button, and anticipate the most basic questions and try to answer them for readers to make your press releases more news-worthy.

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