Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Smart People PR Not So Smart

Today's obnoxious PR was an interesting one. I get a lot of e-mail about film and TV in general sent to my Frames Per Second inbox, which sorta makes sense because of the name. But if you spend even thirty seconds actually looking at the site, you'll see that it's all about animation.

Still, I get a lot of irrelevant stuff that's just blasted out impersonally. Today, however, I got one courtesy of Mammoth Advertising, promoting an upcoming film. Here's a redacted version of the message body:
I noticed that your site has posts about Independent Film and wanted to reach out! I work for a digital PR firm (Mammoth Advertising in NYC) and am reaching out to sites interested in [celebrity] and [movie] to spread the word about the April 11 release. I know your site focuses more on red carpet and celebrity events more than just film, but I wanted to email you anyway -- I work with a few different studios so if you ever need information or materials for a specific film, please feel free to email me anytime!
It's a bit of an odd nut. It's written as if the person who sent it actually took the time to look at the site, but they clearly haven't. Here's my sentence-by-sentence reaction:
I noticed that your site has posts about Independent Film and wanted to reach out!
Okay, the site's about animation, but we do post a lot about independent animation, which is still independent film. You've apparently taken the time to look at my site, so you've already built up some good will. I'm listening.
I work for a digital PR firm (Mammoth Advertising in NYC) and am reaching out to sites interested in [celebrity] and [movie] to spread the word about the April 11 release.
Huh? Why would I be interested in [celebrity], whose only animation credit is a single voicever almost thirty years ago? And why would an animation site be interested in a live-action movie? You've just thrown away the good will, even faster than you'd gotten it.
I know your site focuses more on red carpet and celebrity events more than just film, but I wanted to email you anyway -- I work with a few different studios so if you ever need information or materials for a specific film, please feel free to email me anytime!
Really? You "know" my site focuses on these things? In the 16-plus years since I launched the magazine, Frames Per Second has covered exactly one red-carpet event—the premiere of Barnyard—as part of a broader look at how Hollywood studios court the press for animated features. And don't get me started on celebrity culture.

I don't know what's worse: a press release that's obviously mass-mailed with no regard for a publication's particular bent, or one that pretends to be tailored, but is just as oblivious or unconcerned. I do know who's a candidate for my spam filter, though.

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