I don’t want to knock anyone’s “hustle” but some of you fashion PR folk are terrible. Really, really excruciating. It’s nothing personal. Some of my best friends are in PR – there’s some great ones out there, and it’s not necessarily you…well, sometimes it is…but it’s more your writing. I thought in 2010 you’d be greeting me by hologram or video messaging, but guess what? You still have to communicate using the written word. The press release is still a core component of the industry, beyond a list of contacts you pretend to like. My colleague Mr. Tom Scott described it as “The PR Goldrush.” He’s right – where there’s cluelessness, there’s cash. The blog explosion and relevance of online (though curiously many still favour pulped trees, “I saw some great shoes in Super Super! I need to get them!“) has been tougher to quantify.
Plenty sprang up to usurp bewildered old guard, bamboozling them with magical talk of blogs and the relevance of so Now folk can gauge reach, and look at the success rate analytically. That’s a good thing. Just because you got your client on 5 blogs doesn’t mean the job is done. Click throughs and pageviews could be miniscule. Personal bugbear – being told what the next big site/magazine/celebrity is. Jeeeeeez. Don’t try to kid a kidder, yo. In fact, some PR folks with finite follower amounts on social media sites might want to downplay that – it’s like a being 50 stone dietician – a bad advert for your business. Getting all 21st century and pestering folks with a Twitter account following “tastemakers”? Please, please don’t sully the brand paying your rent with 800 follows and 12 followers.
Who isn’t helping on press or consulting for a brand these days? Ask the person next to you now – they’re “working on some projects“….even the dog is doing it too. There’s money to be made.I’m regularly assailed by mails with attached paragraphs of nonsense. STEP YOUR COPY GAME UP. Seriously – a couple of brief paragraphs. That’s all I need. So what instigated this tirade? A press release that opens with, “THE BEAT GOES ON! SIMBOL OF THE HOGAN REBEL SPIRIT…”
Umm…way to represent your piss-poor footwear. Lately I’ve been trying to learn the noble art of copy writing for press releases. It’s tough. This blog isn’t a hotbed of brevity…in fact, I take pleasure in unrestrained ramblings here. There’s no one to answer to. No money’s changed hands. There’s no client to answer to. When I’m freelancing, it’s a whole ‘nother story. And I’m a rookie in the public relations game. Still, I’ve found myself in the curious position of being sent press releases I’ve written – the circle of hype completed. Isn’t the ability to hurl a press release together part of PR 101 after demonstrating a knack for feigning interest? Get those main points summarised in the first two lines, and convey the tone you’d like to see the product mentioned in. Earn your stripes. I heard interns are getting their own interns. It doesn’t fill me with confidence.
Please don’t open with, “You’re probably familiar with...” – don’t presume anything. Stop being smug. Stop re-Tweeting a mention of your brands in even the most tawdry, barely seen outlets. Save that for the clippings pile, whether it’s physical or a zip file of screen grabs. Don’t give a ’90s running silhouette to a bunch of ageing b-boys for photo opps – learn some context and at least project some reverence for the pieces you’re shilling.
Don’t try to dissuade me from requesting pieces outside the crappy pieces you’ve picked – at least I’m showing interest in your represented brand. Don’t change dates in press releases to ensure inclusion. Keep your agency blogs updated. I know you’ve swaggerjacked a contact list from folk too daft to blind carbon copy, but at least be subtle about it. Don’t bookend a release in nonsense – leave the “Introducing the splendiferous…” bullshit for Don King or Keith Murray. Go easy on those exclamation marks. Don’t just appear as an e-stalker on Twitter and Facebook like some piss-poor phantom or stray dog.
Good fashion PR is an artform – conveying a brand’s brilliance infectiously and applying your own personality to your advantage without resorting to the dreaded nervous chuckle on exiting a conversational comfort zone, isn’t an easy role. Especially when you’ve got to deal with jumped up, freeloading shits like me. “But wait! Your blog is riddled with typos. How can you be criticising copy writing?” Because I’m representing me. And he’s an indiscriminating client.