The Bad Pitch Blog: PR People: Stop Being Bad at Stuff and Read This
1. Express Yourself
The look of your press release is very important. The first rule of emailing is that EVERY SUBJECT LINE YOU SEND SHOULD USE ALL CAPS AND END WITH AT LEAST FIVE EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!! THE MORE EXCLAMATION POINTS, THE BETTER!!!!!!! As for the content itself, black on white is played out. Jazz it up! Change your text and background colors to, say, pink on red, or teal on rainbow, yellow on orange. Anything attention-grabbing and bright will do. Also, use a fun font! Comic Sans looks very professional. For more ideas, visit any MySpace page belonging to a 14 year old. PR GOLD!!!!!!!!
2. Play Hard to Get
Like Joyce's Ulysses or any David Lynch film, a well-crafted pitch should be nearly impenetrable to mere mortals. Here's a neat exercise: Take your "hook" or story idea and bury it under layers of lofty, abstract, dense prose. For good measure, spell things phonetically and use random, Faulknerian italics. Your target audience, after all, is comprised of reporters – and we all know they have lots of time to read heavy things. It's their job, not yours, to gauge the relevance of your information. And don't forget, jargon is your friend – it not only spotlights your sophisticated, in-the-know, vocabulary, but it also says to the reporter: I respect your intelligence.
3. Wear Them Down
As soon as you've emailed your release to a reporter, wait 10-15 minutes, then send a follow-up email reminding him to read it. A few (2-3) minutes later, call the reporter and remind him to read both your email and the original release. If he doesn't pick up the phone, just go ahead and read him your entire press release, word for word, over a series of voicemails. With all the information journalists get, they’ll appreciate the transcription—it’s really cool! Repeat for five consecutive days. When you get a "No." or a "Please stop." or an "I'm a police reporter, I don't care about the 10 best ways to wear a romper, I don't even know what a romper is," then you're making an impression. Damn – give yourself a pat on the back!