Are you in PR? (Sorry!) Want people who write on the internet to not leave a local establishment when you walk in? Then don’t do what everyone does — pitch bloggers with form emails, even if you do insert our first names. Instead, focus on not sending us emails at all, because no one reads them. You may be surprised at the results!
“1. Don’t pitch”
Ever! This is a good start. Just don’t. Don’t follow-up either. Especially — especially — if you’re peddling a sci-fi book to a local blog. Show us a successful cold pitch and we’ll show you a blogger without Gmail.
“2. Reference their work”
Actually, don’t. It’s transparent — we’re all really good at Google — and we’re probably not proud of whatever you’re mentioning anyway. This job is about self-loathing. Instead, email us an embarrassing story. Don’t put our name in the subject line. Don’t even mention your product. Thanks for the schadenfreude; we needed that.
“3. Talk to them like humans”
Buy us a drink, that is. (Don’t mention your job until after it’s paid for.) Then maybe just walk away.
“4. Learn their schedule”
Don’t @ us on Twitter and do not add us on Facebook. If you “poke” us, we will report you.
“5. Offer your service”
Is this a sex thing? We’re busy.
“6. Comment on their stories”
The exclamation points give you away.
“7. Be on call”
But don’t hold your breath.
“8. Write a story for them”
Want to really get on their good side? Don’t just send in a press release for your story, go ahead and write the whole thing for them. This way there’s a big chunk of work that’s already done. Make sure it’s well written, and you follow the style of their publication.
“9. Speak clearly and concisely”
Good advice for anyone, really.
“10. Be nice”
Refer to us as “reporters.” We really like that.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 19, 2011