A Word to My PR Homies: On Getting Weird

Hey, holmes!

Another day, another late night from your noctural journalist friend who sends you slightly manic emails at three a.m. that read, “Omg, does OtherBlog know about this yet? Please send the login, yes!”

You must get a chuckle when you look at the timestamps on those things. You can smell the panic, cantcha?

Well, as weird as we journos can get with our around-the-clock blogging schedules and our demands for exclusivity, you PR pros tend to get a bit fancy from time to time, yourselves. This can be good. And this can just be weird.

Hokay. So.

Remember when we talked about good-weird back when we were discussing lede-writing? There are some very unique, eye-catching, quirky, and attractive ways to call attention to your press release and distinguish your pitch in a sea of sameness.

Word to My PR Homies #8: Be good-quirky, but don’t get weird.

On Being Good-Quirky:

Present your topic with a little levity. Bloggers are hardly a straightlaced bunch, in general. We can handle a little humor with our hard news. Especially on Tuesdays.

Abandon the traditional press release format; go for broke and just tell us how it works. “Hey, Jolie! I wanted to tell you about App X that does blah blah blah. Here’s what it looks like, and here’s where you can try it out.” Amazing! Brief, effective, and stand-out simple.
Call us out by name. We’ll notice it in a string of subject lines.
Include multimedia. If you send a pic or video, we get that much more face-time with your pitch. This definitely works in your favor.

Does your brand have a personality? Act it out! Brand-flavored pitches are better than bland ones. Just don’t lose the news in the expression, k?

On Being Just Weird:

Don’t send an empty email with no subject line, text, or other information. It’s suspicious and makes a lot more work for us in the unlikely event that we do decide to follow up.

Don’t write in all caps for any part of your message. We know you want to stand out, but this is the obnoxious kind of standing out.

Don’t go crazy with the formatting. Bold, underlined, italicized, multicolored text doesn’t get our attention. It’s really, really distracting. The best way to set apart your big points is to make them separate paragraphs. Short ones.

Don’t use profanity.

Don’t ramble off-topic.

Don’t get too personal.

There you have it, my friends! Just a few little guidelines on how to be good-quirky (a la Parker Posey, whose kids I would have, she’s so cute) versus just weird (a la Courtney Love, whose kid will probably carry her curse, it’s that powerfully freaky).

Love you guys, and keep ’em coming! Don’t be afraid to experiment; I have faith in your good taste and creativity. Just put the Post-It above your screen: “Parker Posey, not Courtney Love.”

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