So I’m cleaning out thousands of bookmarks and pictures tonight. I save everything and forget to delete them later until months later where I can barely find anything anymore. So I found this six month old post (shut up!) that Gene Ross wrote on AdultFYI that I never posted. I laughed, giggled, and agreed. A must read!
Full story at AdultFYI:
1. I get a press release which I’m ready to post or have posted. Then I get a follow-up notice telling me, oops, there was a mistake and could I replace the first press release with this revised one. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was writing press releases for a Fortune 500 company, that first draft went through a chain of command: doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs before it was approved for publication. Sending me the oops alert only tells me you fucked up big time by being hasty, and someone called you on it, so now you have to save your ass. Oops.
2. I get a press release which, way at the bottom, tells me that if I’m interested in doing an interview with the specific client mentioned in the release to contact such and such number. Excuse me? How about someone getting off their self-important ass and contacting me. Because that’s YOUR job. You’re taking your clients money. Earn it by servicing their needs to the fullest and being aggressive. Out of all the industry PR agents, only one agency calls me regularly about setting up interviews with their clients. Then, again, their clients fail to call 50% of the arranged time [I keep score just for the hell of it]. But this is something they’ve got to control on their end.
3. I get a press release with all caps in the headine and/ or with names and companies capped in the body copy. Are you guys on Diet Soda or something? Do you think this is cute? Do you know how ugly ALL CAPS look in print? It’s not attention grabbing, it’s annoying. I used to spend time correcting those gaffes but have since elected to trash most of those offending press alerts. One practitioner out there- and you know who you are- is particularly egregious with this.
4. The What-When-Where press release in bullet form. It’s sloppy, it looks like something just pulled out of a clothes dryer, and, worst of all, it looks like you didn’t give a fuck about putting effort into crafting a linear story.
5. The use of the archaic “amongst”. I understand Shakespeare’s publicist used that word as well.
6. Punctuation- learn it. A quote should look like this: “I’m very excited to be with XYZ company,” said Mandy. Note the comma inside the parentheses. I spend most of my time correcting similar punctuation miscues.
7. Avoid the use of the word “excited” if you can. It’s really old, and this business ain’t exciting as it used to be. Besides that word will come back to haunt you when the deal falls through, and it will.
8. Exclamation points. Lose ‘em!
9. A press release is designed to encourage follow-up, on the part of the recipient, to perhaps a bigger and even better story. In other words, make what you have to say interesting and memorable. Unfortunately most press releases bear the same monotonous content as job resumes. Let yours stand out.
I don’t particularly care about Volume 32 of a porn series and it’s release date. Not unless there’s something really funny or clever in the text. Nelson who used to write for JM and Tony Malice are masters of sexual sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek whimsy. They can make a bland handjob movie come off like stand-up comedy. Then, again, not everyone appreciates the offbeat. No sweat. AVN and XBiz will pick it up and take credit by substituting one of their writers’ bylines. Oops. Sorry, guys, we all get the same press releases, but when I see someone putting their signature to a “wire story” that’s a little too much.
10. I love the guys who play this game- they’ll play it cute and send the press release first to AVN and XBIZ – everyone else afterwards. I know when you’re doing it, and why [politics] so you’re already on my secret shit list, first come, first served. Why? Because I’ve been doing this longer than anyone and have earned the right to first crack.
11. The why didn’t you publish my press release e-mail. Hey, maybe it’s my website, and I want to post what I want to post. There’s no hidden rule that obliges me to. I do it out of courtesy, but more often times, money- see item 13.
12. Photographs. Loads of press releases go out without an accompanying photo. On the flip side, the picture is often large enough to hang in the Louvre. Let’s use some common sense. In the main, you’re sending material to blogs and websites and space is limited.
13. This is only something I’ve been doing lately with DVD release announcements and anything relative to sales – I’m cutting out the contact and ordering information. Way I look at it, you’re using my site to do business. Want to do business? Buy an ad.
14. Note in passing: Riding herd on your clients and their self-importance. Do you know how many times over the years I’ve heard this from a prospective interviewee: “What am I being paid for this?” Whoa. Business being tight and competitive as it is, you’re still hearing it. But not as much.
15. Etiquette. Twice in the years I’ve been interviewing porn performers, I’ve had girls just up and end the interview because they didn’t “feel like” answering any more questions. Neither of them are in the business any more. Good riddance. I interviewed Kora Peters today. She called me “sir” throughout the entire interview. You could have picked me off the floor. That is an absolute first.