NOTE: Most of these tips definitely still apply to correspondence with me. But my role at GigaOM has changed to me writing one piece a week, and I am no longer actively reviewing web series. Here are some places that are, though!
Since taking on the role of NewTeeVee’s reviews editor, I receive more and more emails from creators asking me to take a look at their web content (many of whom find me through this blog, which is why I’m posting this here). I use a lot of these pitches in my quest to cover the best and brightest in online video, but every time I go through that particular email folder, I see some problematic correspondence.
So, for whoever might care about such a thing, here are some tips for emailing me about new web series. Please note that I do not speak for everyone writing in this space. (Especially when it comes to fake mustaches.)
- I am putting this first bit in all caps because it is that important. PUT THE LINK FOR YOUR WEB SERIES IN THE EMAIL YOU SEND ME ABOUT YOUR WEB SERIES. Seriously, if I have to go into the PDF of your press release to figure out where to watch your show, then you’ve failed. If I have to dig around in your over-complicated email signature to figure out where to watch it, you’ve failed. Most importantly — if I have to Google it, you’ve failed. (And trust me, all of those things have happened.)
- Press release attachments (docs and PDFs) are in general an annoyance. Copying and pasting that text into the body of an email makes it that much easier for me to read it.
- And while having a YouTube account is great, you might consider building a nice website for your web series, if you haven’t already. The more info you provide, the less time I have to spend tracking it down for my review.
- This is a personal preference thing, but don’t send me another website’s coverage of your web series. Feel free to mention that you’ve previously been covered by Tilzy or Tubefilter, if you want, but I won’t read another person’s review before writing my own, so that I can feel confident in my opinion being my own. Think of it like talking about your ex-boyfriend-or-girlfriend on a first date. Everyone enjoys the illusion of feeling special. :)
- Speaking of special: If possible, try and explain why you and your web series are special. What I mean by that is that there there has to be something about your particular show that’s interesting and unique — certainly something that inspired you to put all those hours into creating it. Don’t be shy. Tell me about it.
- Does your web series feature anyone wearing fake mustaches? I am a sucker for fake mustaches. Fake mustaches, cats, and great sound design. OOOOH. Great sound design. That last one especially. If you’re in post right now, please make a note of that as you complete your series.
- And along those lines, a note particular to my coverage: I currently focus pretty much exclusively on web series that are available online on the day of review. This is a quirk of the NTVS site design, wherein I have to be able to include some sort of embeddable video with the piece in order for the review to appear on http://station.newteevee.com, but it also means that people have a chance to watch and
disagree with me, which is a cool plus. This means two things: I don’t do a lot of preview coverage, and if your web series isn’t out yet, be sure to tell me when and where you’re planning to release it.
- Final request: Please be patient with me. I eventually watch everything I’m sent, but I only write one review a day and you web series creators have been freakin’ BUSY.
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