biancasauceda asked: I actually have to write a press release today for a film that I am working on. I'm an undergrad so I don't have much experience with this kind of stuff. Since you get so many ridiculous emails on a daily basis, do you have any tips on what I should/should not do?
Thanks for asking! I’ve actually never had to work on this side of things, so I’m not sure of the best way to write press releases; I’m just good at pointing out the bad ones.
Overall, I think it’s about tone. You want to be engaging and interesting, but don’t pretend like the person reading is your friend. At the end of the day, you’re trying to convey information, so make sure all of the important details are there (date & time & cost of an event, or title & availability & production members & screening dates for a film, or whatever) and easy to find. Also, you don’t need to point out that you’re doing promo, nor should you be apologetic. Just do what you gotta do, say what you gotta say, and get out of there.
If you can, have a standard message to send, and leave space for a personal introduction to whoever’s reading it. Some bands send me emails and say, “I just read your post about BLAH and we kinda sound like them so you might like this.” This might make me a little more inclined to follow through on it, as long as it seems like they actually “did their homework” and didn’t just pick the first post they could find on our main page.
Short sentences are better, but don’t be too dry and boring. A little humor is ok, but not necessary, and can be easily overdone.
Try writing your message and then find a friend who knows nothing about it who is willing to read it. See if it piques their curiosity. If they didn’t roll their eyes about it and would consider following up on it, you’ve done just about as well as you could.
Hope this helps!