Skip to main content

8 Types of Press Releases From Hell

Image: Flickr 37Signals' stream
Working in a media house, press releases make up quite a lot of what a journalist reads and works with. That explains why quite a number of us end up with poor grammar - it is so easy to pick up language usage from what we read.

Press releases are meant to pass relevant information to the reader, sand should be targeted. The keyword here is relevant. Sadly, press releases are not meant your companies feel good, they can pee on themselves for that warm feeling. Releases thus are of no value if the targeted reader doesn’t get much value from them, which means that your client is failing in delivering value.

Press releases also account for many the hardships journalists face. If you don’t believe me, below is a collection of characteristics exhibited in press releases send in from hell.

  1. The title is longer than this paragraph. Such press releases look as if someone converted the first paragraph into a title. I mean, there is nothing wrong with a 20 word title, right?

  1. Our company is the first of its kind, the best,  the leading integrated provider and the only one to come up with this integrated innovation. Lots of flowery, difficult adjectives give you a clear understanding of what we do and our products. You love us so much, and you will love us more as we blow our own horns off this high pedestal.

  1. An image is worth 1,000 words. Including an image with our press release will make it quite lengthy, seeing that that’s an extra 1,000 words. In any case, the press love corresponding with us and will take time off their barely existent schedule to request for a photo.

We may however, at times, fell sufficiently philanthropic to include a photo of our client. In such cases, the photo is to be made smaller than a passport photo, in such a way that it just gives a hint of what in the photo and when published in print, you can count the pixels, hence come up with about 12 pixels which we shall refer to as megapixels.

  1. Title. We couldn’t think up of an appropriate title of our press release, hence the title “press release.” Journalists are good at these things, and we are sure they will come up with a title.

  1. The Christmas Greetings Press Release: This press release intends to pass what would be exciting news, such as the stuff that makes press releases sound like they come from hell. Instead, it mentions that in passing and dwells on  feel good messages from the  CEO and President. Readers often get the overall feeling that they were wished a merry Christmas.

  1. Repetition. Mr. Dennis Kioko has today announced the start of an initiative dubbed PRESS RELEASES FROM HELL. Speaking at the launch of PRESS RELEASES FROM HELL ,  Mr. Dennis Kioko announced that PRESS RELEASES FROM HELL is targeted at firms including PR practitioners that take Grammar rules for granted. PRESS RELEASES FROM HELL  is the first of its kind …..

  1. The Forever Title: Press Releases are forever, readers love our firm so much that they will read the article regardless of a title that reads Press Release set to transform Africa.

  1. The Nightly Press Releases. Software developers will tell you of nightly software builds, which are test versions they release every day to test for what they coded. However, you never get nightly updates to your Firefox or Chrome browser. Similarly, unless you really have valuable information, nightly press releases tend to be more of noise, which will see you been ignored when you actually have something to say. Only talk if you have something to say, and don’t go desperately looking for something to say.

Overall, one on one interviews with a firm are way better than press releases. However, such are also useless if “I cannot comment on that” is dominant phrase on the interview. An advert works way better in such situations.

There are billion of pages on the Internet. People visit and spend their time on those with information.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

Note: This is a dated post and has since been mostly passed by events. SAB Miller beers including Castle and Peroni are no longer widely available in Kenya after their exist. Sirville Brewery was bought out by Brew Bistro before being permanently shut in a tax dispute. Kenya is a land of milk, honey, beaches and taxes. I have penned, or is typed, a newer post here

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinion of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives one free, extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes, happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voi…

Why do people vote for Cruel Leaders?

Why do Kenyans, or any other electorate for that matter, vote for cruel politicians or so-called leaders?
The common argument is that the voters are ignorant, or were “misled” or had “no option”. But this is not true.

People know who and what they are voting for. People intentionally vote for cruel politicians especially when the voters form part of a majority - clan, tribe, race, nation, class or other majority.
It is not that they do not know the politicians are cruel. They simply assume that the cruelty will be experienced by others - the minority - and will never be experienced by them. They deal with the conscience by arguing that those experiencing cruelty must have done something wrong to deserve it.

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

The Bible. Why you should read your Bible.

After reading what The Candid Tin man had to say about the Bible on his blog, I felt a disappointed man. In my opinion, the candid Tin man had committed the same errors of omission and commission that have plagued the Bible for centuries.

In the beginning, the Roman Catholic church was the dominant church worldwide, and the bible existed in Latin language which common folk like me and you did not understand. Latin was a dead language used by the priests of the roman Catholic church and perhaps a few scholars.

The Roman Catholic church aimed at controlling the public's opinion , as the church still does today, and especially their opinion of what was God's word. Therefore, back then, if you needed to understand God's word, you had to consult the Roman Catholic Priests to read the Bible for youa nd then tell you what it said. How well they did this and their intentions remained questionable, with accusations directed at the Roman Catholic Church for mistranslating The Bible…

The Idle Life of a Regular Kenyatta University Student.

My education life was quite an active one, till I completed the 8.4. part of 8.4.4. I went to good primary schools, with tuition in class 6-8 and boarding in class 7 & 8. My life in primary was quite full, esp with tuition in class 7 & 8.I passed KCPE and was admitted to a good National School in Nairobi. My High School life was divided into 3 months holiday and 9 months schooling per year, except for 4th form where i spend I had a 1 month holiday between January and November. I was therefore well occupied for the first 12 years of my education.

After sitting for my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(KCSE) in November 2004, I had to wait for results till March 2005. I was well above the B+ university cut off. Previously in early 2004, we had chosen universities and courses we would like to attend by filling the Joint Admissions Board forms. After the results were out in early 2005, we had to wait till August 2005 for the 2004 KCSE lot to change their university and cours…