Monday, March 16, 2015

Shady PR and why my neck hurts

No editor is going to pick up the following two news releases. But, I will -- although not for the reasons they'd prefer.

Writing a news release is easy, if you believe web-based PR services that will post whatever you hand them. Writing a news release that editors will consider seriously? That's tougher.

Look, for example, at "Slide Share Publishes News About Serial Entrepreneur Vince Thadani," found on MyPRGenie.com. This news release promises "interesting news about the legendary commercial figure Vince Thadani." And it never delivers.

For starters, the mechanics are wrong. You don't use your email address as a dateline. You don't use two cities -- New York and San Francisco -- as datelines. You should think twice about quoting a self-written SlideShare presentation as a news article. (Hint: SlideShare.com doesn't post news.) And billing yourself as a "serial" anything isn't a wise strategy, if what you're really doing is promoting yourself as a scriptwriter.

(Vince apparently likes throwing away money on shady PR websites no one visits, including MarketPressRelease.com.)

Actual cervical traction device.
By U.S. Air Force photo by
Airman 1st Class Anania
Tekurio [Public domain], via
Wikimedia Commons
Moving on, there's a release titled: "WisdomKing.com Offers Neckpro Overdoor Cervical Traction System At $47.79!" Sounds like an ad, not a news release. Any editor would spike or delete this epistle without ever reading past that sales-y headline. Never mind that the release quotes nameless "executives" spouting error-filled copy points lifted from a product catalog.

That's a product I might have considered, after mildly injuring my neck last week. (See photo at right for a real cervical traction machine.)

Neither Vince or the WisdomKing people are writers. They don't understand that just because you type something and stick it on MyPRGenie.com, editors don't automatically publish it.

The real crime is that MyPRGenie doesn't have the ethical cojones to admit that their news releases aren't newsworthy. Nor does MyPRGenie employ a copy editor to help them write something halfway credible.

So, until MyPRGenie steps up and does the right thing, I suggest you skip their website. Don't purchase their services.

Just turn away. Slowly. So you don't sustain a neck injury.