Recent headlines have created a Sargasso Sea of sexual misdeeds and dismissed journalists. It's not a great climate in which to send news releases about vague "solutions" and nude cooking. But if you need a break from the misadventures of fallen media giants, the PR world can offer a brief respite.
If you're willing to wade through some challenging prose.
After reading this one from Gold Stream Solutions -- an agency that includes PR among its areas of expertise -- I'm starting to understand what's killing news releases. Lousy writing. News-free copy. Vague information. Quoting a CEO with no last name.
I didn't realize CEOs qualified for the federal witness protection program.
If that's not sufficiently amusing, consider this release, received by my friend Tracy Schuhmacher, who writes about food and drink for the Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle. It's from the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR), which extols the benefits of slow cookers in the kitchen of nudists:
|Photo By Chef Pepín (Chef Pepín management) |
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Nov. 29, 2017) -- Nudists, like most of us, love to cook. But, according to the majority of the American Association for Nude Recreation (www.aanr.com) members, they have a major incentive to avoid hot splatters. So, they often pull out their slow cookers for delicious, splatter-free meals. This is especially prevalent now as the weather cools and great comfort-food stews, soups and more are one pot wonders from the slow cooker.
(The full release may be downloaded here.)
One more sample: there's a TV network we've never heard of that decided to hire a new CEO, and is engaged in climbing to the top of a mountain. It's unclear which mountain, with all the mixed metaphors barricading the reader from actual facts. And this runaway sentence, too:
"One Television Network, the well know television entity founded in the late 80's since shut it's doors in 1998 to concentrate on the development of the KOCH Firm since has a new CEO and Chairman Quadir Selby former indie music executive at Glama World/Caroline/Virgin who negotiated their current deal, to restructure and reformat the networks lineup, popularity, reach and audiance capacity."
The original typos, misspellings, and grammatical blunders are italicized for your enjoyment.
Why do these matter? PR wags have long predicted the demise of the news release. Yet, a recent study by BusinessWire indicated that 65 percent of journalists look to news releases for supporting factual information. Admittedly, BusinessWire's business involves disseminating news releases. But their research suggests that news releases still serve an important role in public relations.
Provided someone still knows how to write a decent release.