Sometimes there is no Easy Please-y way to ask for a favor. In the case of the Seattle Cupid 5K run, we had a big ol' press release to send to various media outlets. No way around it, these emails were going to be long - in theory.
Here's an example of an email I sent to the fine folks at the West Seattle Herald:
Hi there. I've got a press release for a fun Valentines day race in West Seattle. Mind throwing it on your event calendar? Let me know if you can. Press release follows.
Now hang on a minute, Seth, weren't we talking about long form emails?
Yes, that's still the subject of this case study. I thought I'd spare you reading the entire press release, but if you really want to, check out the West Seattle Herald listing here.
In fact, even if you don't want to read the whole press release, you should check out the link just to see the awesome custom graphic their web editor threw together for us.
Anyhow, here's the meat of a long form email: It must be shorter than short. Include all the text you want in the press release, but put the crucial question right at the top, and limit yourself to only one request. Requests made after the first line will frequently be ignored or go completely unnoticed. It is in fact the web editor's job to post these listings, but we still want to make it as easy for them as possible.
And make sure to thank them afterwards. Brevity is the soul of gettin' it done, but gratitude is the soul of... your soul. Probably.