Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tip #187: How do you quantify lack of focus?

When you’re demoing your mobile app, it is OK to not show me how the user changes units of measurement from Metric to Imperial. Really.

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Filed under Meetings

Tip #186: I am not 14 years old

And you’re not, either. So try not to send press e-mails that start like this:

OMFG. We are so excited. Today, Hulu and The CW announced a new five-year licensing agreement…

There’s actually a real story here, but I think my point stands.

See also:
Don’t let a 6-year-old address your envelopes
Don’t let your toddler name your company

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Filed under Email

Tip #185: I can handle the truth

"As seen in" element on a marketing site. Just graphics, no links. Big mistake.

If, on the marketing site you want me to see, you have “As seen in…” graphics pointing to other coverage you’ve gotten, make sure you link to the coverage you seem to be so proud of. Otherwise, for all I know, the coverage was glancing, negative, or perhaps nonexistent.

But also keep in mind: Tip #49: How not to pitch.

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Filed under Common sense, Lies

Tip #184: Piggyback

If your news can’t stand on its own, trying to attach it to another passing story won’t help.

Hi Rafe,

The new Siri app for the iPhone 4S does almost everything… almost. That’s where [[company’s]] newest [[clever name]] case comes in. Designed for the iPhone 4 (but a perfect fit for the 4S too), the slim smartphone case that includes space for cards and cash… So after Siri reminds you to stop at the bank, you’ll have somewhere to stash your cash.

This very typical example takes a hot news item and over-leverages it to pitch something that seems, at least to this jaded writer, completely unrelated. The announcement of a new voice-control technology for the iPhone cannot reasonably be used to pitch an iPhone case, unless you’re writing Sky Mall catalog copy. Just send us the product news, if there is any. Leave the sophomore analysis to us; it’s what we’re paid for.


Filed under Email