I often teach university-level public relations courses. And, when I'm looking for examples of unedited, clumsily crafted news releases published online, my first stop, inevitably, is MyPRGenie.com.
|Smokey the Genie (right) with Bugs Bunny|
But I tremble whenever I find news releases -- often written by someone with, ah, less-developed writing skills -- that find their way online with virtually no editing or attention to what an editor will read. One recent verbatim example:
What's this message promoting? Travel? Learning a new language? The inability to use articles and nouns? It's doing a terrifyingly poor job at all three.
What would it take for MyPRGenie to provide a copy editor to fix this editorial train wreck? Or for the writer (possibly a small business owner in Tokyo) to ask a freelance copy editor to clean it up?
(Hint: do not turn to this "first class paraphrasing service" to solve the problem, either.)
You'll find a number of high-quality online PR wire services that can ensure your verbiage doesn't read like a brochure explosion. Or independent PR professionals (myself included). Prices vary widely. Buy what you can afford.
But spend enough so that your message is clear, understandable, and compelling. Spend enough so that your reputation is burnished, not tarnished, by your news releases.
And skip the search for a PR genie in a magic lamp.