How to Write a Press Release That Won’t Get Trashed

shutterstock_38441392How to write a PR pitch

I understand a lot of you aren’t bloggers or social media-ers, but for those of you who are, you know just how freakin’ frustrating it is to wade through craptastic PR pitches by the truckload. Forget about ever managing your inbox. The day we decided to enter the blogosphere, we apparently gave up that right.

In all fairness to PR pitch writers, it’s a living. A shitty living, but a living nevertheless and I’d feel anything less than honorable if I were to continue deleting by the pageful without first telling y’all what you’re doing wrong.

PR peeps, this one’s for you.

When writing a press release…

DO NOT

  • Address me as Garcia, Garcia_Lori, Blogger, Mommy Blogger, Hey There, Blog Miss, Mommy, [Name] (<—- as in exactly like that), or Friend_Mommy. You can call me Lori, Mrs./Ms./Miss Garcia (I’m not picky), or even Mommyfriend.
  • Pitch me pregnancy/baby crap. I have a 5 and 10-year-old. I haven’t been pregnant since 2007, and I’m sure if and/or when I get knocked up again, I’ll write about it at some point on the old blog and you’ll find about it.
  • Pitch me contests and boring product information to share with my readers. They don’t care. I don’t care. NO ONE CARES. Work your ass off, build your own following, and tell them yourself.
  • Ignore the power of the Bcc. Listen, I know a lot of the bloggers on your mailing list, but I sure as hell don’t need every reply asking to be removed from your mailing list landing in my inbox. Cc is different than Bcc. If you didn’t already know that, screw you.
  • Invite me to things on the east coast. Sure, it’s nice to be invited to things…I suppose…but I live in California and unless you’re about to fly me out and send my family precooked meals, it ain’t happening. So, um, thanks but no thanks.
  • Write an effing novel. Get to the point and make it snappy; my coffee’s getting cold. Your first line better tell me what you’re promoting, what you want from me, and why I should bother.
  • Ignore basic grammar. I know at some point you probably wanted to write a novel, invent something, or become a marketing genius, but just because you ended up pitching booger wipes doesn’t give you the right to ignore the difference between there and their, abuse exclamation points, or use comic sans.
  • STOP CAPITALIZING RANDOM SHIT. The minute I sniff contagious capitalization, I’m out.
  • Assume all “mommy bloggers” are the same. Yes, we’re all mothers but most of us write about things far beyond diapers and coupons.
  • Give me a backhanded compliment. “We see you’ve written about things your children need to learn before moving out and we believe you’ve left a few things out.” Uh, I’m pretty sure that’s a matter of opinion and in my always humble opinion, you suck.
  • Act like I work for you. Last time I checked you weren’t contributing to my 401K, so please stop telling me what to share on Babble, GalTime, Yahoo! Shine or Mom.me. Don’t be lazy, pitch them directly.
  • Act like we’re friends. I’m sure you’re really nice and everything and so am I (despite this blog post), but I ask that you keep your email professional. Casual is cool, but only after I’ve watched you butcher a song I used to love on karaoke.
  • Pitch me girly stuff. Yes, I’m a girl, but I do not, in fact, own a girl child. I know, it’s totally sad. I’m a bit broken up about it myself.

DO

  • Get to know me or my blog, at least a little. Know the ages, subsequent stages, and gender of my kids. That’ll give you a better idea of what I might be up for.
  • Spell check and double-check your PR pitch. There’s nothing worse than like five slightly different variations of the same pitch.
  • Offer fair and equitable compensation for what you are asking for. Freelance ain’t free.
  • Be sincere, brief, and respectful.
  • Pitch early. Don’t wait until Christmas Eve to pitch me a bunch of stuff about Christmas. It’s just not going to happen.
  • Respond quickly. Say you pitch something, say I’m interested and I write you back. If you don’t respond within one business day, you can bet I’ve moved on to the next 6,000 pitches in my inbox. Trust.
  • Trust that I know my audience.

With that, I’m off to power through today’s pitches on baby slings, menopausal supplements, leaf blowers, and organic lube.

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