PR emails

Jul. 5th, 2017 04:11 pm
davemerrill: (Default)
[personal profile] davemerrill
As a noted anime blogger (?) I occasionally get emails from PR firms that have been hired by various fan-related events or products, trying to get me to interview somebody to promote their thing. Usually these just go straight into the trash, but every once in awhile I get one that piques my interest, like this latest series of emails (name of convention has been redacted).

The subject line is "Disney World for nerds of all ages", which is a big WTF. There already is a Disney World for nerds of all ages, it's called "Disney World".

The basic gist of the first email was "Gamers, cosplayers and anime nerds don’t need to cross the ocean to access authentic Japanese anime, video gaming and manga because CONVENTION is bringing Tokyo to CITY." In other words, it's just one more anime con. This one is special, kind of, because their guest list is heavier than usual with American entertainers... nerd musicians, YouTube "celebrities", and 80s-era standup acts that have theaters in Branson. There are also actual Japanese animation industry guests, but the convention's website does not promote these actual anime guests over the nerd-rapper guests and the cosplayer guests and the video blogger guests. I mean, there are fourteen (14!) different musical acts performing at this "anime convention."

A second email sent a few days later tries a different tack: "A three-day, $60 pass will open 100+ doors for your readers with a convention that is finally all-inclusive. At CONVENTION, they don’t need to pay extra for autographs, events or exhibitions. For a potential blog post, I can connect you with a member of the CONVENTION team to discuss the event, the growth of the cosplay culture and how this shift in conventions from ala-carte to all-inclusive is improving the fan experience."

In other words, this convention is trying to claim "not charging extra for events" is some sort of exciting new policy. Sorry guys, we've been doing it like this all along. Not charging extra for autographs is nice, but all that means is that the convention negotiated a rate with the talent beforehand. The talent is getting paid regardless.

A third email, sent a week later, is a lot shorter and to the point: "This weekend is THE weekend... for CONVENTION! Would you be willing and able to share the news with your anime fans who happen to live in the Midwest and may want to check out the all-inclusive convention this weekend?"

Yes. PR emails are going out the week before and THE WEEK OF their convention. Who exactly are they targeting here? Are there fans who make their anime convention plans a week in advance? Who just says, "hey, I read about this anime con that's happening next weekend, let's take time off work and make travel and hotel plans for this thing?" I don't know anyone that casual. Maybe they're out there. Most anime fans I know have their convention plans nailed down months before the show.

My conclusion is that CONVENTION might want to go with a different PR team next year, one that starts sending out PR emails earlier and that has a better grasp on anime convention culture, and that might actually look at the blogs they're sending this spam to, because my blog is about thirty year old cartoons, not cosplayers or YouTube stars or Yakov Smirnoff.
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